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Just like the other aspects of our physicality, our mental health is affected by aging.

In fact, experts say that our brain’s health declines with age, with the average brain shrinking by around 5% per decade after the age of 40.

SEE ALSO: One hour of exercise a week will protect you from depression

That’s sad but there is something you can do to help keep your brain healthy - and that is to exercise.

A new research proves that aerobic exercise, one that gets your heart pumping, significantly increases the size of the left region of the hippocampus in humans.

According to Joseph Firth, the lead author, this study provides some of the most definitive evidence to date on the benefits of exercise for brain health.

"When you exercise you produce a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which may help to prevent age-related decline by reducing the deterioration of the brain," Mr. Firth said.

"Our data showed that, rather than actually increasing the size of the hippocampus per se, the main 'brain benefits' are due to aerobic exercise slowing down the deterioration in brain size. In other words, exercise can be seen as a maintenance program for the brain."

The hippocampus takes care of our long-term memory. Aerobic exercise can help our brains keep our memories and also help us learn new things.

SEE ALSO: Are you too old to start regular exercise?

Examples of aerobic exercise:

  • walking
  • treadmill running
  • stationary cycling
  • swimming
  • rowing
  • running
  • skipping rope

How often should you exercise?

Adults should at least do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. Do aerobic activities in bouts of at least 10 minutes.

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