Aging can be difficult for everyone, but a new study suggests that a simple exercise routine may help keep the aging brain healthy as we age. Regular exercise, according to the findings, may help protect aging brains from cognitive decline. According to researchers, the benefits of exercise appear to be greatest in people who begin exercising later in life. So, if you want to stay sharp as you get older, it's time to get moving.
Physical activity has long been recommended by doctors to help keep the brain healthy as we age. This study, on the other hand, is the longest test of whether exercise makes a difference once someone begins to have memory problems. This study was conducted during the pandemic, adding isolation to the list of risks for patients participants’ brain health.
The study included approximately 300 sedentary older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is sometimes thought to be a precursor to Alzheimer's disease. Half of the participants were given aerobic exercises, while the other half were given stretching and balancing exercises that only slightly increased their heart rate.
Both groups went to the YMCA, and when the pandemic struck, they met with trainers via video calls from home.
After a year, cognitive testing revealed that neither group had worsened, and brain scans revealed no shrinkage, which is typically associated with worsening memory problems. In comparison, MCI patients who participated in a similar long-term brain health study experienced significant cognitive decline over a year.
"Previous studies have found that regular physical activity of "Previous study has found that any type of regular physical activity may reduce harmful inflammation and boost blood flow to the brain," said Alzheimer's Association chief scientific officer Maria Carrillo.
Some medications target important markers believed to cause dementia, such as amyloid plaque and metabolism to aid in the processing of blood sugar and lipids. However, research has shown that effective treatment of cognitive decline, even with medication, requires a combination of personalized treatments.
As the aging population expands and the number of cases of cognitive impairment rises, there is an increasing need for people to take precautions to safeguard themselves. This study demonstrates how basic exercise can be a useful strategy in the prevention of memory problems.
The next stage in study must consider how much and what type of exercise is required for seniors to get the benefits of brain health. Some specialists recommend that elders move for 30 to 45 minutes four times per week, a tall order for inactive people.