(2009) Aerobic fitness is associated with hippocampal volume in elderly humans. Hippocampus 19:1030–1039.
Aerobic exercise, like running and swimming, appears to be best for brain health. That’s because it increases a person’s heart rate, “which means the body pumps more blood to the brain,” says Okonkwo. But strength training, like weight lifting, may also bring benefits to the brain by increasing heart rate.
In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.
 that analyzed 25 randomized controlled studies, investigating cognitive effects of aerobic exercise, resistance training and Tai Chi. The authors found evidence that resistance training and Tai Chi have cognitive benefits among seniors, whereas no consistent significant effects were found for aerobic exercise.
Results: Significant increases in brain volume, in both gray and white matter regions, were found as a function of fitness training for the older adults who participated in the aerobic fitness training but not for the older adults who participated in the stretching and toning (nonaerobic) control group.
Aerobic exercise causes many biological processes that help the brain function. The authors of a recent review article concluded that aerobic exercise could: increase the size and function of key brain regions, such as the hippocampus. help the brain control responses to stress.
Physical exercise helps your brain stay sharp. It increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise also enhances the effects of helpful brain chemicals and reduces stress hormones.
13 Brain Exercises to Help Keep You Mentally Sharp
Brain Gym is a programme ofEducational Kinesiology exercises that has been adopted by some schools and educators. They are used to improve the functioning of the brain. Educational Kinesiology means to ‘draw out learning using movement. ‘
Aerobic exercise is any type of cardiovascular conditioning. It can include activities like brisk walking, swimming, running, or cycling. You probably know it as “cardio.” By definition, aerobic exercise means “with oxygen.” Your breathing and heart rate will increase during aerobic activities.
Researchers have long understood that exercise improves people’s cognitive performance, including their executive functioning, attention and memory, as well as their brain structure.
Studies show that physical activity improves executive functions,2,4,5 attention,6,20 cognitive speed,6 working memory15,16 and episodic memory. A review by the Cochrane Foundation found evidence that aerobic activity is beneficial to cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment.
Cognitive functions include:
Aerobic exercise, in particular, was shown to increase brain volume in most gray matter regions, including those that support short-term memory and improve cognitive function. Scientists have indicated that even short bouts of physical activity may have a positive effect on the brain.
Meditate. Just as you exercise to expand your muscles, you can meditate to increase the size of your brain. A 2000 study conducted by researchers at Harvard University found that meditation increases the size of the brain regions that are associated with focused attention, deep thought and memory.
BDNF Is Associated with Changes in Hippocampal Volume. Exercise increases levels of BDNF in the hippocampus (5, 7, 20), which, along with the trkB receptor, is considered to be a partial mediator of the enhancing effect of exercise on learning and memory (7, 8).