Modern medicine has done a lot to extend your life expectancy. In 1900, you’d have beaten the odds just living to 50. In 1950, American men lived – on average to 65… less than today’s retirement age.
Today, the average American will live to almost 80 -15 years longer than their grandparents. That’s a big jump. But it comes with a price.
As our lives have gotten longer, the rates of cognitive decline in the U.S. have skyrocketed. And this is one area where mainstream medicine has fallen short.
If you start forgetting more or feel a little confused now and then, chances are your doctor will say, “It’s just a normal part of aging.” That’s what doctors are taught to say. But is it really normal?
I’m not so sure.
I’ve told you about the link between exercise and mental clarity before. For example, a 2013 review of studies from New Zealand. Researchers there found studies clearly show mature adults who exercise regularly have better executive function.1
Executive function is a fancy term for the process you use to perform practically every mental task: attention, remembering details, planning and organizing, etc.
Just taking a brisk 20 – 30 minute walk, 3 – 5 times a week could help you stay sharper and keep your memory strong. Not to mention the benefits you’d get for your heart, lungs, balance, and more.
It’s just another reason to stress well-rounded physical activity to all my patients.
But a new study may finally put the lie to the claim that mental decline is normal… in a huge way.
One of the reasons doctors today will tell you memory slips and brain fog are normal is that your brain shrinks with age. By the time they hit retirement most people lose about 1% or so of their brain mass every year.
That doesn’t sound like much. But let’s say you retire at 65. By the time you’re 80, you could lose 15% or more of your brain. A big human brain weighs in at about 50 ounces. So you’d be talking about 7.5 ounces less of brain matter!
Next time you’re in the grocery store, pick up an 8-ounce block of cheese and consider its size compared to your head. That’s about the amount of brain matter most people lose between retirement and the average life expectancy here in the U.S.
I guarantee 7.5 ounces of brain will seem like a lot. And it is.
So what if you could grow your brain as you get older instead? Even better, what if you could grow an area of your brain linked very closely to memory and learning?
According to a study just published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it’s entirely possible. In this study, 6 months of aerobic workouts led to an increase in the size of an area of the brain – the hippocampus – linked to memory and mental clarity.2
Resistance training didn’t have the same effect. Even nutritional supplements can’t match aerobic training for this benefit.
This study didn’t show an improvement in memory, but several others have. For example, a team led by the University of Pittsburgh found the more mature adults walked, the less their brains shrank… and this was linked to less risk of memory problems.3
But the new study clearly shows that the shrinking brain linked to memory trouble and brain fog isn’t normal. And all it takes to hold on to your brain is to stay active.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Guiney, H. and Machado, L., “Benefits of regular aerobic exercise for executive functioning in healthy populations,” Psychon Bull Rev. Feb 2013; 20(1): 73-86.
2 ten Brinke, L.F., et al, “Aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume in older women with probable mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial,” Br J Sports Med. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2013-093184.
3 Erickson, K.I., et al, “Physical activity predicts gray matter volume in late adulthood,” Neurology. Oct 19, 2010; 75(16): 1415-1422.
THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
All material herein is provided for information only and may not be construed as personal medical advice. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The publisher is not a licensed medical care provider. The information is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. We are not responsible for the accuracy, reliability, effectiveness or correct use of information you receive through our product or for any health problems that may result from training programs, products, or events you learn about through the site. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. The FDA has not evaluated these statements. None of the information or products discussed on this site are intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate or cure any disease.
If you want to end your subscription or you need to change your e-mail address, please follow the instructions below. Your changes will be effective immediately. However, if you do not follow the instructions below and simply hit reply instead, we may not receive your request and cannot assure you that it will be completed.
To manage your subscription by mail or for any other subscription issues, write us at:
Best Life Herbals
329 E 2100 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84115