Student hosts community exercise meet-ups to promote healthy brains

Taylor Snowden_RichardsonPhD candidate Taylor Snowden-Richardson (Christie Lab) is encouraging everyone to give their brain a boost through movement this summer. Starting in June, she will be helping The Brain Changes Initiative (BCI), a non-profit organization that has supported her research, with its Canada-wide campaign to promote the benefits of exercise on the brain.

“Many of us already know that exercise is beneficial for our brain health, but it’s less commonly known that aerobic exercise, in particular, can encourage the growth and integration of new brain cells through a process called neurogenesis,” she says.

The campaign, Move for Neurogenesis, challenges people to move consistently for 12 weeks. Participants can choose any form of aerobic activity and set their own goals. The campaign is also a fundraiser, with registration fees and other donations all going towards brain injury research across Canada.

Taylor will be hosting in-person community meet-ups in the Victoria area—complete with group circuit-based workouts and healthy snacks—every second Sunday between June 4 and August 27 to encourage participation. To join her, check out the “scheduled in-person meets” tab when registering for Move for Neurogenesis.

“Even small amounts of exercise can have a significant impact on our brain health. I encourage everyone to join us in this exciting movement to promote brain health while supporting vital research,” she says.

Taylor has been involved with BCI since December of 2021. In 2022, she received the Brain Canada Rising Star Awards’ Dr. Matthew Galati Brain Changer Award for her research on exercise and cognitive-based interventions aimed at helping adults at risk of dementia due to previous concussions. Dr. Galati is the founder of the BCI, which supports the award.

“Thanks to the generous support of the BCI and Brain Canada, I was able to recruit more participants, attend conferences to share my findings, and continue this crucial area of research.”