Prior to the purchase of our inn in 1999 I had spent much of my adult working life as a Registered Nurse. Thought it might prove interesting to include some of the “up to the the minute medical information”, much of it obtained through nursing journals and the like., So, as part of the Blog, Medical Minute will be included if I hear something intriquing. Everyone, looking for a vacation or not, has some interest in medical trivia or just cool findings regarding your health.
This bit may make you wish to “shoot the messenger” but restrain yourself please. It would seem that those of us, just hitting or a bit into their 50′s share the physiological fact that our hippocampus is likely shrinking. This area in the brain is located in medial temporal lobe.
So much for all that but for purposes of this article- it is the shrinking of this area and what we can all do about it that matters. One of the many functions of this “seahorse” shaped brain structure, is it’s function in the formation of new memories, initial learning, spatial tasks particularly having to do with finding the way to a hidden goal; e.g. navigation. Thus the size of the hippocampus and abilities in the cognitive areas are linked.
There is a silver lining. Adults taking only 3 walks of at least 40 minutes a week for an entire year gained the benefit of all the known pluses associated with regular exercise in addition to this, their hippocampus averaged a 2% growth in that year. That’s likely a better deal than you are getting on your bank C.D. Dust off those tennis shoes and get to it.