New research suggests that physical activity can improve brain health

HealthBeat

We all know that exercise is good for our health — but a recent study proves even more that working out also improves your mind.

At least two and a half hours of heart-pumping exercise a week–that’s what’s recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — but only about one in five adults and teens get enough exercise to maintain good health.

New research suggests that physical activity can improve brain health as well.

The study published in Mayo Clinic proceedings examined more than 2,100 adults between the ages of 21 to 84.

Researchers determined cardio fitness may slow down the decrease of the brain’s gray matter, which processes information and may be useful in slowing a range of illnesses from mild cognitive impairment to dementia.

Researchers admit they had several limitations and say further study needs to be done.

However — they say older adults who get higher amounts of heart-pumping fitness seem to benefit the most in the memory region of the brain.

Other ways to support brain health include drink only in moderation, get plenty of sleep and engage your brain like picking up a new hobby or doing something that challenges your mind.

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