/Still Exercising? Your Brain Thanks You

Still Exercising? Your Brain Thanks You

Staying active is proven to reduce cognitive decline.

Still, most of us don’t get nearly enough exercise. And when asked why, the excuses are seemingly endless. Almost one-quarter of Americans claim they’re satisfied with being sedentary. (AARP)

Does this sound familiar? If so, you’re far from alone. The majority of us age 40-plus are not logging the recommended 2.5 hours per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity that’s good for us, according to AARP’s latest healthy aging survey.

It would strain credulity to claim we don’t know any better. We’re saturated with messages promising the well-documented benefits of exercise: better sleep, better weight, better heart, better mood. Yet, most of us persist with the excuses.

What if I told you that the stakes of not exercising are higher than you might have thought? What if I told you that physical exercise is good not only for the way you look and feel, it’s also good for your brain — good for raising the odds that you’ll stay mentally sharp and reduce the risk of cognitive decline?

It’s true. Staying active is key to maintaining our brains. Getting regular exercise can even change our brain structure and improve its functioning.