We all know that regular exercise has many benefits. It helps you control your weight, regulates blood pressure, promotes better sleep, and boosts your mood and energy. But what if regular exercise, even as light as walking, can help your brain as well? As it turns out, the benefits of physical exercise for brain health are many.
Improve Overall Brain Function
In this 25-year-long study by the University of Minnesota, 2,747 healthy people with an average age of 25 took part in a treadmill test to determine their cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). More than two decades later, they were subjected to cognitive tests, and the results were decisive. People who were fitter 25 years earlier now showed better results in verbal memory and psychomotor speed.
Experts recommend 150 minutes of light exercise (such as brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (like jogging) per week. A research conducted by the University of Illinois showed that moderate walking can, in fact, improve cognitive and emotional function as we reach late adulthood.
Could Walking Prevent Dementia?
Physical activity seems to help the brain by increasing the production of chemicals that protect it. In this study from April 2014, researchers from the University of Eastern Finland studied the importance of physical exercise for brain function during a period of 28 years. The final results confirmed that light physical activity can reduce the risk of dementia.
Moreover, this research proved that you can start exercising even in your midlife or later and still achieve great results. The values of working out were even more obvious among men and overweight people.
If you’re looking for a way to preserve your brain function and keep your body and mind active, light exercise – such as walking – can be a great start. There are many benefits of physical exercise for brain health. Choose an activity that works best for you, engage in it regularly, and you’re already one step closer to a healthy lifestyle in your late adulthood.