Physical Activity Improves Brain Health

June 21, 2022

Dr. Mary Rose Strickland

When asked about benefits of physical activity, most people can list off that it is good for your heart and cardiovascular health, for your muscle and bone health, but did you know it could keep your brain healthy, too?

Physical Activity can improve memory, reduce anxiety and depression, and has even been found to reduce risk of cognitive decline, such as dementia.

The general recommendations are for adults to get 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week.  While many look at this and immediately plan 30 minutes, 5 days per week, the good news is ANY amount of activity helps and ads up.  Don’t have 30 minutes to dedicate to your activity in a particular day?  Break it up in to 10-minute sections and get 15 of those in throughout your week.   The best part?  It doesn’t have to always be an activity like walking, biking, etc.

Use the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away and add 10 minutes of walking while shopping, make some light chores such as household cleaning or yardwork a moderate intensity to get your heart rate up and blood pumping.  Do some squats and lunges while on a call and sprinkled throughout your workday.

Other benefits of physical activity include reducing your risk of over 20 chronic health conditions (including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers such as breast and colon), help you lose weight in conjunction with a healthy diet, improved sleep, and overall help you feel better.