A new study has found that exercising the mind is as simple as talking a walk. That is to say that aerobic exercise also works out the mind to limit brain shrinkage that usually takes place in our 40s.

Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, which in turn increases production of new brain neurons. Brain shrinkage has been found in the section of the brain responsible for memory and higher cognition.

It was thought by many that to stay mentally sharp was as simple as doing mental aerobics in the form of crossword puzzles, reading and other mind challenging activities. Yet this has never been proven.

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However, benefiting the brain through physical exercise has strong support. The area of the brain responsible for memory and higher cognition shows improved function after a few months of aerobic exercise.

Memory also improves as does the ability to multitask, make judgments and process information. Actually, it has been reported that people who exercise as little as three hours a week have a brain volume of people three years younger.

So, remember that you can do something to influence your mental fate as you get older. Get out there and get some form of physical exercise to benefit your brain and mental capacities.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss, a Sport Podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 & 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials.