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Walking preserves memory

2 types of walking that you should practice

Not only brain games help keep our brain active. Research has found that walking between 9 and 15 kilometers (between 5 and 9 miles) per week can help us preserve memory and avoid brain diseases that can occur with age. Are you already getting ready to go for a walk?

If you are one of those who believe that spending hours doing crossword puzzles and mental exercises helps you speed up and keep your memory active, here is a new activity that can help achieve that goal and, if you practice it, it will also help you stay healthy. Because? Because it is simply about walking; but specifically, walk 5 to 9 miles (9 to 15 kilometers) per week.

That's how it is! An exercise as simple as walking, which brings enormous physical benefits, is also good for your memory. The data arise from a study published in the journal Neurology, according to which researchers from the University of Pittsburgh led by Kirk I. Erickson detected that the gray matter of the brain is not reduced when this amount of exercise is performed.

Although this was an observational study, the researchers concluded that the more you walk, the more gray matter you will have after a decade or more, in the brain regions that are essential for cognition.

Furthermore, they highlighted that the relationship between walking and gray matter volume seems to occur only in people who regularly walk relatively long distances, which are equivalent to 9.6 kilometers to 14.5 kilometers per week. On the contrary, overexerting oneself and walking more than necessary did not prove to have more cognitive benefits (for the mind and thinking).

Similarly, walking can also promote the connectivity of brain circuits, which tends to reduce as we age. This connectivity is what allows us to carry out everyday cognitive actions, such as driving a car. That's what another study found, in this case led by Arthur F. Kramer, from the University of Illinois, and published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. This adds more evidence of how physical exercise helps maintain good brain health.

Benefits for the mind and brain

Carrying out some activity between 30 and 60 minutes per week allows, among other things:

  • Maintain the abilities to think, reason and learn in healthy people
  • Improve memory, reasoning and judgment, in people with Alzheimer's disease or cognitive deficiencies; and
  • Delay the onset of Alzheimer's in people at risk of developing this disease

Why is this happening? One hypothesis suggests that physical activity appears to maintain the blood flow necessary for the brain to function properly, allowing us to function normally.

Other health benefits

Did you know that walking also has many other health benefits? It is known that exercising is healthy not only to lose or maintain weight but also to take care of our circulatory system and heart, as well as prevent or control diabetes and cholesterol, strengthen the lungs, prevent heart attacks and strokes, reduce blood pressure blood, improve muscle tone in the legs and abdomen, reduce stress and tension, reduce arthritic pain and stop the deterioration of bone tissue.

And you, how much do you walk daily? What are you waiting for, do you need more excuses to start walking regularly?

"Because prevention is better than cure"

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