Linking Exercise to a Healthy Brain

Want to keep your brain from shrinking as you age? Plan on keeping a weekly physical exercise schedule, no matter how old or young you feel. That’s the conclusion from this research study published in the journal Neurology.

Researchers scanned the brains of over 600 adults (all in their 70s), and compared the brain imaging results with the level of physical activity reported by each participant. The results showed that the participants who reported consistently high levels of weekly physical activity had better brain health measures, including larger total gray matter volume, and greater white matter integrity (the wires that connect brain regions together.)

Put another way, staying physically active can help minimize brain changes (such as cortical thinning) that come with aging. Physical activity supports good cardiovascular health, and also stimulates the neurotrophic factor BDNF, which helps the brain grow new neural connections.

Readers can also try the Healthy Brain Test to learn more about steps to keep your brain in good working condition.

See also: Brain Training: Does it Work?