According to a new study published by the American Academy of Neurology, it’s never too late to lace up some sneakers and work up a sweat for brain health. The study suggests older adults, even couch potatoes, may perform better on certain thinking and memory tests after just six months of aerobic exercise.
“As we all find out eventually, we lose a bit mentally and physically as we age. But even if you start an exercise program later in life, the benefit to your brain may be immense,” said study author Dr. Marc J. Poulin. “Sure, aerobic exercise gets blood moving through your body. As our study found, it may also get blood moving to your brain, particularly in areas responsible for verbal fluency and executive functions. Our finding may be important, especially for older adults at risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias and brain disease.
“Our study showed that six months’ worth of vigorous exercise may pump blood to regions of the brain that specifically improve your verbal skills as well as memory and mental sharpness,” said study author Dr. Marc J. Poulin. “At a time when these results would be expected to be decreasing due to normal aging, to have these types of increases is exciting.”
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