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Exercise and Brain Health

Are you exercising on a regular basis? This is a question that I ask almost all of my patients. The overwhelming response I get is “no” with the sometimes added “I don’t have time”. It can be hard for people to exercise when: a) they do not know what to do and b) they do not have a facility or equipment.



As we all know there are many ways to exercise. There are different types of exercises that are good for different types of people, and that is where a health professional comes in (ideally). Regardless, I think we can address this from a much broader scope, if you are not moving, move!


Stand up from your computer and take a 5 minute walk. Do 15 jumping jacks when you wake up in the morning. Start small and slowly build on it! It does not have to be a lot but start somewhere. You know your body.


Why? Exercise has countless benefits ranging from heart health, to increased energy levels, to muscle and bone health and everything in between. What interests me the most is the effect of exercise on the brain. I came across “The effects of aerobic exercise intensity on memory in older adults” today while doing some research and was excited yet again on the findings.


The study found that high intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate continuous training (MCT) may enhance memory in older adults, with HIIT having the greatest measured memory performance (1).


Although there is not a specific type of exercise that is suitable for every single person, it is clear humans need to move. So, take a break and go for a walk, do a few push ups, some jumping jacks, and squats.


Reference:

1. Kovacevic A, Fenesi B, Paolucci E, Heisz JJ. The effects of aerobic exercise intensity on memory in older adults. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2020 Jun;45(6):591-600. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2019-0495. Epub 2019 Oct 30. PMID: 31665610.


**Note: These recommendations do not replace advice given by your healthcare provider. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized medical advice. Recommendations and Information provided are designed for informational purposes only, they are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

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