We all know that exercise builds muscles, but newly released scientific research indicates that it may also build the brain – literally! A team at the University of Edinburgh followed more than 600 people who were 70 years old at the time the study began. The subjects provided details on their daily physical, mental and social activities.

Three years later, using imaging scans, the scientists found that the subjects who engaged in the most physical exercise had less shrinkage and damage in the brain’s white matter – the “wiring” of the brain’s communication system. The relationship remained even after factoring for such variables as age, health, social class and I.Q.

The study, reported in the journal Neurology, also indicated that exercise had a more positive effect in preventing brain shrinkage than engagement in mentally stimulating activities or having an active social life. While the authors of the study couldn’t rule out the possibility that people with less brain deterioration were just more likely to be physically active, they said that based on their findings, they would recommend that people take up physical exercise whatever their age.

If you’re already keeping your brain toned and pumped, you’re ahead of the game! If you’re looking for a fitness program that will be fun, challenging and beneficial – regardless of your age or fitness level – spend some time learning about all the great classes and programs Future Fitness offers. We now have something to improve every brain as well as every body!