Exercise one of the most important habits to prevent cognitive decline

2022-02-01 22:43:47
Exercise one of the most important habits to prevent cognitive decline

Whether you are over 65 and concerned about age-related memory loss or are simply looking to implement measures to improve cognition, research overwhelmingly shows that exercise is one of the most important daily habits to include to prevent cognitive decline.

How Exercise Improves Brain Health

We often think of exercise as something that we should do purely for our physical health and to improve our heart, muscles or bones. However, as scientists continue to learn more about the ways that exercise benefits the body, they've also uncovered overwhelming evidence that it is essential to maintain the health of the brain.

The volume of the brain naturally decreases with age, due to the reduction in the size of individual brain cells and a decrease in the number of connections between them. These reductions lead to subtle declines in cognitive function over time.

Exercise combats this process by boosting the production of neurotrophins to help fortify brain cell structure and signaling capacity.

Variety seems to be key when building an exercise regimen to reduce cognitive decline.

In a 2017 review, researchers looked at a number of studies on exercise and cognition in order to try to determine which methods create the greatest benefit.

They found that both aerobic exercise and resistance training are important. Aerobic exercise was shown to improve cognitive ability, while resistance training was most effective on enhancing executive function, memory and working memory. All this to say, getting a good mix of different activity is the way to go.

There are many ways to ensure that you are getting a good mix of aerobic exercise and resistance training to meet the minimum 150-minute per week recommendation.

While research shows that as little as 10 minutes of exercise can have a positive impact on brain function, long-term cognitive improvements are seen when consistent exercise is continued over time.


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