A recent scientific study1 has revealed an easy step you can start doing today that can actually reverse the effects of cognitive decline as you age. The study looked at 160 people who were an average of 65 years old. All of the subjects had cognitive impairments, and they were sedentary at the beginning of the study.
The researchers wanted to see what would happen if these sedentary people began doing some regular light exercise. They had a hunch that it could improve their cognitive functions, so they broke the test subjects into four groups.
One group changed their diet, one group started exercising, a third group did both, and the final group only received health education.
And it turns out, the groups that added exercise to their routine saw the most dramatic improvement in their cognition.
Specifically, they showed improvements in “executive function.” Executive function controls your ability to manage time, focus, remember details, plan, organize, and multitask. So needless to say, executive function has a huge impact on your daily life.
But the most impressive stat – some of the test subjects started the test with the executive function of a 93-year-old. But by the end of the test, they had improved to the level of an 83-year-old. That’s 10 years of cognitive improvement, just by doing some light exercise.
So what kind of exercise should you do to boost your brain power?
Experts say it’s easy. Simply taking a walk every day is enough to improve your energy and your cognitive function
Now you know the incredible benefits that aerobic exercise – even just a light walk – can have on your brain as you age. So the next time you think about sitting down on the couch for a movie, consider taking a quick walk first. Your entire health, especially your mind, will thank you for it.
1 Lifestyle and neurocognition in older adults with cognitive impairments. James A. Blumenthal, Patrick J. Smith, Stephanie Mabe, Alan Hinderliter, Pao-Hwa Lin, Lawrence Liao, Kathleen A. Welsh-Bohmer, Jeffrey N. Browndyke, William E. Kraus, P. Murali Doraiswamy, James R. Burke, Andrew Sherwood. Neurology Dec 2018