Boost the Brain Through Walking
It's time to take to the streets. A study published in the journal Nature says that walking is a wonderful restorative for brainpower. Professor Arthur Kramer of the University of Illinois says a brisk saunter can significantly improve mental faculties that otherwise tend to wane with age.
Kramer and his team put more than 120 previously sedentary men and women through a program of walking or stretching and toning exercises. They found "a person who has not been physically active during his or her younger years still can benefit by walking" -- and it doesn't have to be much, just a rapid, 45-minute ramble three days a week.
Walking increases the amount of oxygen delivered to the brain by about 5 per cent, but even this modest amount is enough to trigger faster reaction times and heighten the ability to ignore distractions while handling a variety of mental tasks on a computer. "These people were de-conditioned," says Kramer. "They had been doing very little in terms of physical fitness."