We all know that physical activity is good for the heart, good for the blood pressure, and good for the waistline. Now it appears that it is good for the brain, too.
Brain scans show that the parts of the brain essential to decision making and memory are larger among physically active older adults. These individuals also seem to think faster and remember better than seniors who do not exercise. The research suggests that
- regular physical activity may help ward off the changes associated with diseases that cause memory loss and dementia
- even frail adults can benefit from physical activity that is tailored to their needs
Researchers are not ready to firmly link any specific amount of physical activity to better memory in late life. But the evidence of benefit is growing. Maybe this is just the news to motivate Mom or Dad (or you!) to get into action.