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Get moving! (Even just a little)

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - 11:27am
By:
Alan Flurry

New research from the University of Georgia shows that physical activity could help protect your cognitive abilities as you age. And it doesn’t have to be intense exercise to make an impact.

“This finding isn’t saying, ‘If you’re older, you need to go out there and start running marathons,’” said Marissa Gogniat, lead author of the study and a recent doctoral graduate in psychology from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “This is saying if you get more steps, if you’re moving around your environment a little bit more, that can be helpful to your brain health and keep you more independent as you age.”

We’ve always been told it’s good to exercise, but I think this is some evidence that exercise can actually change your brain,” Gogniat said. “And that impacts the way you’re able to function in your daily life.”

The brain is made up of a bunch of distinct networks. Those networks are in constant communication, sending information to each other.

But different parts of the brain are active at different times. The network that is active when the body is at rest, for example, flips off when a person starts trying to complete a task. At that time, another network kicks on.

While one of these networks is active, the other should be shut off. If it’s not, that’s a sign that a person’s brain isn’t functioning as well as it should be.

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Image: Getty images

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