Brain Health: What Helps, What Hurts

Brain Health: What Helps, What Hurts

Want to stay sharp into very old age? Get regular exercise, keep your heart healthy, and mind your medications. Those were the major findings of a report on brain health recently issued by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and cosponsored by AARP. The good news? Cognitive decline is not inevitable as we age. Here’s what helps, what hurts and what may not be effective in preserving your brain health.

WHAT HELPS

Exercise

Aerobic exercise is especially beneficial for brain health, and even better when combined with strength training. Exercising for longer periods — at least 30 minutes or more at a time — appears to be better for brain health than shorter sessions. And it’s never too late to start. People older than 65 showed more benefits than those 55 to 65.

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