By Theresa Semple | August 7, 2020

Did you know Alzheimer’s dementia affects more than 5 million Americans 65 and older? As we age, we’re more prone to diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s. We’re also more set in our ways. 

Why? It has to do with brain plasticity. There’s good news, though! 

Although there’s no cure for dementia and Alzheimer’s, there are things you can do today that strengthen your brain and reduce your odds of brain-related disorders and diseases. 

Keep reading for information about increasing your brain plasticity through exercise. 

What’s Brain Plasticity?

Brain plasticity refers to neuroplasticity and how our brains reorganize neural pathways based on our experiences. Your brain is always changing!

This can be good or bad. It’s good when you’re learning new things and challenging your brain. It’s bad when your brain declines due to inactivity or disease. 

The good news is, your brain can learn new things at any age and increase your brain’s plasticity. 

Exercise and Brain Health

Are you a couch potato? Sitting all day isn’t good for your physical, mental, or brain health.

You already know that eating the right diet helps you stay healthy, but how does exercise affect your brain? It keeps your brain from shrinking!

Studies show that physical activity improves both memory and cognition. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain while releasing a cascade of hormones within the body. 

These biochemical changes create new neurons (neurogenesis) as well as new neural connections in the brain. Even aging brains generate new brain cells while exercising demonstrating that neuroplasticity happens at any age. 

What Types of Exercise? 

There’s more good news here. Any type of exercise is better than no exercise. If you’re out of shape, there’s no need to go run a marathon. 

Start slow with a simple walking program. Aim for a minimum of three days a week for at least 30 minutes, though 60 is better. 

The government recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. An hour of exercise five days a week is even better, but anything is better than nothing. 

Do you think exercise is boring? Try these exercises:

  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Walking with your favorite music
  • Zumba
  • Jump roping
  • Biking

Anything that gets you up and moving counts as exercise. 

If you’re leading a sedentary lifestyle now, check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Once you get the okay, get moving!

Exercise also releases endorphins, so once you’re off the couch, you’ll feel better emotionally too. 

Exercise and Brain Plasticity

Are you ready to increase your brain plasticity? All you need is some exercise!

Find a few exercises you like that you know you can stick with. Vary your routine from time to time so you don’t get bored. Most of all, do less sitting and more moving. 

The more active you are, the better it is for your physical, mental, and brain health. 

Are you ready to see your doctor so you can start on your fitness routine? Call us for help with your insurance needs!the 

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