Breaking news: exercise is good for your brain! In a study published last April, researchers at Dartmouth tested how a month of exercise can affect a person’s memory. Not so surprisingly, they found that those that exercised for at least 30 minutes daily showed much improved memory functions than those that had remained sedentary.
Conversely, fatty foods were shown – in a separate study – to seriously detriment the brain’s cognitive functions over time. In a lab study in rats, they found that a high-fat diet actually lead to an accelerated decline into dementia! But they also found that exercise effectively counteracted these declines in cognitive function. So if you think you’re eating too many cheeseburgers, hit the gym, and you should be good!
But both studies found that the positive effects of exercise on the brain (increased neuron production, improved memory, etc) could only be sustained with continued exercise. In as little as 3 weeks of inactivity, the brain can become indistinguishable from those that had never engaged in exercise to begin with.
This is unrelated but still very interesting: Babies start to recognize language from inside the womb!!