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Exercise for a healthy brain!

It is common knowledge that we all need to exercise for a healthy brain, but did you know that it can actually affect you memory too? The more you exercise, according to Dr Dr Philip Poi Jun Hua, the more the part of your brain associated with memory, the hippocampus, actually grows. As we age, the hippocampus actually shrinks so it is particularly important for people of all ages to get regular exercise.

The benefits of physical activity are well publicised. Since the Jack LaLanne fitness programmes on television in the early 1960’s, and Jim Fixx’s running/jogging revolution at the same time, people began to change their perception of what defines a good life. Fat was out, fit was “in”. However, we Malaysians have not embraced this willingly, as evidenced by the increasing numbers of obese young and middle-aged citizens.

It is easy for us to think that exercise only exerts its effects on our bodies from the neck down, but the same types of exercise benefit our brains too.

Now, there is growing evidence that physical activity is good not only for your heart, but for your brain as well. And in case you are in the 45-49 year age group, be aware that a recent study of over 7,000 civil servants (men and women) in the UK has shown that many domains (except vocabulary) indicating cognitive decline or memory decline was already evident in this “young” age group!

Not only do we absolutely need to exercise for a healthy brain, but it’s one of the most effective, and natural ways, to fend off illness. Why, oh why, do so many middle-aged people think that exercise isn’t necessary? What do you think? Is it a lack of education? Is it a lack of knowledge? I’d love to see some feedback!

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