Click here for COVID-19 & Vaccine Information

The COVID Vaccines for ages 6 months and older have been approved by the CDC, and will be available by appointment only at Pediatrics at Perkins location the week of July 5th.

Here’s why even a small amount of physical activity is good for your brain.

Spread the love

As people age, cognitive function tends to naturally decline. This may just mean you become a bit more forgetful or that it takes you longer to solve complex problems. But you may also be concerned about developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease when you get older.

By the year 2050, it is estimated that over 115 million people will have dementia worldwide. But there may be things you can do to lower your chance of being part of that statistic. One of them is easy to do—you can exercise.

Your brain may not even need much exercise to reap benefits. Even a little bit may help lower the risk of developing dementia, according to a study published in December 2021. The study, which followed over 62,000 adults aged 65 and older, found that even small amounts of light-intensity physical activity lowered the risk of dementia by 14% compared to not being physically active. Activity levels in the study were equivalent to an 18-minute daily walk or an hour on the golf course once a week.

Another study in the journal Neurobiology of Aging showed that exercise appears to help keep the aging brain sharper. Findings were based on MRI scans indicating that physical brain age was slightly more than a half year younger for every flight of stairs a participant climbed daily compared to non-stair climbing participants.

Exercise has been shown to help memory and thinking in other studies, too. Regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning. Physical activity also reduces inflammation and stimulates the release of chemicals in the brain that affect the growth of new blood vessels and the health of brain cells.

That’s all good news for your brain!

To help protect your brain as you age, make exercise part of your daily routine. Aerobic exercise appears to be the best type of activity for keeping your brain sharp. Choose moderate-intensity activities such as walking, stair-climbing, swimming or dancing. Even everyday chores, such as cleaning the house or gardening, can help you meet your aerobic activity goal. You don’t have to do a lot of exercise to help keep your brain stronger. Anything you can do is better than nothing. Start small and build up the amount of time or the intensity of what you do as you feel ready. Of course, check with your doctor before beginning any new physical activity.


Copyright 2022 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Date Last Reviewed: January 11, 2022

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

Learn more about Baldwin Publishing Inc. editorial policyprivacy policy, ADA compliance and sponsorship policy.

No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article is a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article signifies your understanding and agreement to the disclaimer and acceptance of these terms of use.