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Exercise May Boost Your Brain Health Later in Life

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Any certified trainer or health professional you ask will tell you that exercise has plenty of total-body benefits, and most of those perks have nothing to do with how your body looks. As you age, it becomes even more important to stay as active as you can to protect your body and mind. A new study from the University of Georgia suggests that physical activity might help maintain brain health as the years go by. 

“We’ve always been told it’s good to exercise, but I think this is some evidence that exercise can actually change your brain,” Marissa Gogniat, PhD, lead study author and postdoctoral fellow in neuropsychology at the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center, said in a press release. “And that impacts the way you’re able to function in your daily life.”

The study, which was published in Sport Sciences for Health, followed 51 older adults who all wore devices to measure steps taken, distance covered and physical activity throughout the day. Their fitness levels were measured by the distance they could cover in a six-minute walking test. They were also put through tests designed to measure their cognitive functioning and underwent MRI scans to study their brain functioning. 

To gauge each participant’s brain function, researchers analyzed the way different networks in the brain communicated with one another. These networks send information constantly, but different parts are active at different times depending on what you’re doing at the moment. This means the network that’s active while you rest should be off when you’re focusing on a task, for example. 

When these networks don’t work…


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