Exercising for Brain Health – No Gym Needed!
By Kim Butrum, MS, RN, GNP Silverado Senior Vice President, Clinical Services
A recent research study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences is bringing hope to those of us that struggle to get in regular time at the gym.
Shannon Hallaway, Ph.D. (a researcher at Rush University School of Nursing) found, in a randomized control trial of 262 participants with a mean age of 81, that higher levels of physical activity done as a part of normal life is associated with more gray matter in the brain. These activities include common daily undertakings such as walking the dog, gardening and housework. The volume of gray matter in the brain decreases with aging, and in Alzheimer’s disease a larger volume of gray matter is associated with brain health.
While we can’t be sure that it will hold true for those who are younger, it still holds promise that the specific physical activity is less important for cognitive health than the fact that physical activities are done. So, let’s all get moving!
For more information on this and other studies related to physical activity and brain health, click here.