New study highlights link between exercise and brain health

New study highlights link between exercise and brain health

It is generally understood that exercising can improve your overall health. A new study shows that it can have specific benefits for your brain – especially as you age. 

The study
The study, published by the medical journal PLOS ONE and conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois, looked at 88 participants between the ages of 60 and 78. While the subjects were considered healthy, they practiced only low levels of aerobic activity.

According to Medical News Today, the participants were asked to wear accelerometers every day for a week so researchers could see exactly how long they spent walking and sitting. They also had brain scans to look at white matter, which is important for healthy brain function. These scans also searched for lesions, or clumps of dead cells, that are present in most adults over the age of 65. MNT noted that when lesions develop early or quickly they can contribute to brain damage. 

The results 
The study found that people who incorporated higher levels of physical activity into their routines had fewer lesions in their brain. However, people who regularly did light exercise had increased amounts of healthy white matter in important areas of the brain associated with memory and senses. Most importantly, the study revealed that people who spent large amounts of time sitting – even if their time exercising was classified as vigorous – had low levels of white matter in these key regions of the brain. 

Researchers concluded that seniors should try to adopt a more active lifestyle overall, instead of remaining largely sedentary and spending small amounts of time doing high levels of exercise. 

Keep your brain healthy 
As you age, make sure to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine. The American Association of Retired Persons suggested not only doing aerobic exercises, like walking or swimming, but also incorporating weight training into your fitness routine. The AARP also noted that a healthy diet is crucial to your brain's healthy aging. The source advised that as you get older, you consume more vegetables, fruits and omega-3 fatty acids.

A good way to get omega-3s is through eating fish or taking a supplement like Omax3. Today's premium omega-3 supplement, Omax3 contains 91 percent omega-3 and was developed by doctors associated with Yale University. 

Essential takeaways 

  • A study done by the University of Illinois looked at the levels of physical activity in aging people and its effect on the brain.
  • The study found that, for fewer lesions and more healthy white brain matter, people should aim for less sedentary lifestyles.
  • In addition to exercising, a nutritious diet with omega-3 fatty acids is important for a healthy brain.
  • Omax3 is a great way to get your omega-3s.