Staying fit could help keep your brain from shrinking and aging in your older years, suggests a new study out [April 19]. It found that middle-aged and elderly Americans who regularly even got an hour of light exercise during their weekly routine had larger brains on average than those who didn’t.
One common consequence of aging is a slow but steady decline in our brain’s size, with an average of 0.2 percent loss in volume associated with aging every year past 60, by some estimates.
Importantly, the link between more exercise and less brain shrinkage was seen even in people who got less than 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week.
And while people who walked more steps per day (at least 10,000) did have larger brains on average compared to those who only walked 5,000 or less, Spartano didn’t find a larger effect from higher-intensity exercise alone. In other words, people who got their exercise from walking in the park five days a week weren’t necessarily worse off, brain-size wise, than those who jogged or ran. That suggests, the authors say, that it doesn’t take much sweating at all to keep our brains in shape.
Read full, original post: Even a Little Bit of Exercise Can Keep Your Brain From Shrinking, Study Suggests