London: Doing exercise for up to an hour a day can improve memory and learning in children and the elderly, say scientists.The researchers found that walking or cycling regularly for between six months to a year can improve memory and problem solving skills in the elderly by between 15 and 20 per cent.They have shown that such exercise can also increase the size of crucial parts of the brain.The scientists have also discovered that children who are fit also tend to be better at multitasking and performing difficult mental tasks than unfit friends, the Telegraph reported.Professor Art Kramer, director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, who led the research, said their findings could have major implications for improving children’s performance at school.He said it could also be used to help the elderly combat memory loss in old age.“It is a sad fact of ageing that our brain function decreases as we get older. Increasingly people are also living more sedentary lifestyles. While we know that exercise can have positive effects on cardiovascular disease and diabetes, we have found it can bring about improvements in cognition, brain function and brain structure,” Kramer said.
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