08 Nov That’s a Nice Hippocampus You Have
You can pick yourself up off the floor, as I did not insult you, but complimented you. What is heaven’s name is the hippocampus? This word that brings to mind an image of a hippopotamus is actually the part of the brain involved in memory forming, organizing, and storing. It is a limbic system structure that is particularly important in forming new memories and connecting emotions and senses, such as smell and sound, to memories. It exists in both the right and left brain hemisphere.
Why all the fuss about this horse-shoe shaped structure?
A study performed by the University of Illinois proved an increase in the size of the hippocampus is directly correlated to exercise training. We all know the benefits of exercise for your physical body, but this study proved the increase in mental cognition – specifically, in the increased size of the hippocampus.
Researchers conducted a year-long study for older adults in their 60s, with half the subjects performing aerobic exercise, while the rest did regular stretching/resistance training. After blood tests, MRI scans and memory tests, studies found that the participants in the aerobic group increased average hippocampus volume by 2.12%. This is also a direct correlation for increase memory as well.
With this news, ACCfamily encourages you to take a walk or ride a bike – after all, we want to keep your hippocampus in the best shape possible.