A recent study has found that walking may help increase brain size, and also fight off dementia and other aging diseases. A study was conducted in Pittsburgh that consisted of 300 people keeping track of the distance that they walked each week. Results showed that those people who walked at least six miles per week had much less brain shrinkage than those who didn’t walk that much.

According to Kirk Erickson, one of the researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, brain shrinkage often occurs in later adulthood. This can in turn cause memory loss, and other problems relating to the brain. Erickson hopes that these research results will spur on studies that look into the effect of physical exercise in older people, and whether or not it is an effective way to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Because Alzheimer’s disease kills brain cells slowly, exercise can be an effective way of preventing this, as it builds more brain volume. The study apparently looked at whether or not walking was an effective way of fighting off the disease, and found that those people who walked six miles or more per week had a 50% less chance of coming down with memory loss.

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