The physical benefits of exercise are widely known, but new research shows that even moderate activity can help improve brain function in senior citizens. SeniorJournal.com reports the study, which was published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, found that walking 40 minutes a day, three days a week can significantly improve the connectivity of brain circuits.
According to the news source, the participants in the study were between 59 and 80 years old and were leading a sedentary lifestyle before the data was compiled.
Researchers then followed the 65 subjects for a year once they joined a stretching and toning group. The results are encouraging for those looking for a way to stave off the mental decline associated with aging.
"In general, as we get older, [brain circuits] become less connected, so we were interested in the effects of fitness on connectivity of brain networks that show the most dysfunction with age," Art Karmer, who led the study, told the news outlet.
Physical activity is a significant area of concern among older adults. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 35 to 44 percent of people over the age of 75 are inactive.