According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh, regular exercise like walking or lifting weights keeps your brain healthy and could reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the author of the study, psychology professor Kirk Erickson, “brain size shrinks in late adulthood, which can cause memory problems.” Their study showed that simple exercise like walking 30-45 minutes three days a week could increase brain volume, particularly in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, regions of the brain important for memory.
Nearly three hundred healthy adults participated in the study, recording the distance they walked each week. Nine years later, researchers measured the brain size of participants using brain scan technology. After another four years, participants in the study were tested again. By that time, 116 of the nearly 300 participants had developed cognitive impairments or dementia.
The results were astounding. The study showed that those participants who walked the most reduced their risk of memory problems by half.
If you’re concerned about developing dementia as you age, you are not alone. The good news is that regular exercise in midlife can significantly improve brain health and memory in late life. Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself; so get out and get moving!
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