To Your Health
May, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 05)
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Stay Active - Your Brain Deserves It

By Editorial Staff

If you're looking to plant the seeds of lifetime brain health before you hit your golden years, here's a simple way: physical activity. It doesn't even take much, suggests research that links light activity in middle age with a more youthful brain later in life.

In fact, even daily physical activity below current recommended levels can do the trick.

Published in JAMA Network Open, the study found that middle-aged adults who walked at least 7,500 steps per day (about 10-19 minutes of brisk walking or similar moderate-intensity activity) had higher brain volumes than adults who averaged fewer than 7,500 steps / less than 10 minutes of exercise per day. Current U.S. activity guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (21 minutes a day) or 10,000 steps.

Higher brain volume is significant because as we age (at around age 60), our brains literally begin to shrink. This shrinkage has been associated with cognitive problems including dementia. Talk to your doctor to learn more about the brain benefits of physical activity.