See, I’m on to something with this Innovation on the Run. Just ran across a New York Times article on how exercise helps your brain.
Scientists have suspected for decades that exercise, particularly regular aerobic exercise, can affect the brain. But they could only speculate as to how. Now an expanding body of research shows that exercise can improve the performance of the brain by boosting memory and cognitive processing speed. Exercise can, in fact, create a stronger, faster brain.
I know that I work better when I am standing up and moving around. And most of my creative ideas come to me when I am running, usually at a medium pace. Too fast, and I cannot focus, too slow and I get bored. But a run at a moderate pace really energizes and allows me to think of things in ways that I cannot think of while sitting still.
Of course the article comes with a big downer for me.
But something else happened as a result of all those workouts: blood flowed at a much higher volume to a part of the brain responsible for neurogenesis. Functional M.R.I.â€™s showed that a portion of each personâ€™s hippocampus received almost twice the blood volume as it did before. Scientists suspect that the blood pumping into that part of the brain was helping to produce fresh neurons.
The hippocampus plays a large role in how mammals create and process memories; it also plays a role in cognition. If your hippocampus is damaged, you most likely have trouble learning facts and forming new memories. Age plays a factor, too. As you get older, your brain gets smaller, and one of the areas most prone to this shrinkage is the hippocampus. (This can start depressingly early, in your 30â€™s.)
Guess I should get all of my ideas out quickly before my hippocampus wastes away.