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How can exercise help improve my memory?

A recent study showed that a 20-minute walk every day is all the extra activity it took to help counter faltering memories in a group of people over age 50.

After just six months of doing an extra 20 minutes of exercise daily (on top of the physical activity done normally), a group of adults experiencing slight losses in memory and verbal fluency saw improvements. More good news: The exercise didn't have to be terribly taxing. Not only did walking work but so did swimming and ballroom dancing. Even better, the improvements persisted for 12 months after the study ended, and some benefits lasted up to 18 months. The research suggests that exercise may help delay Alzheimer's in at-risk adults -- people who have mild cognitive decline.

Although it's yet not fully understood how staying active improves the mind, it may be that the boost in blood flow nourishes brain tissue and, by extension, stimulates the generation of new neurons, synapses, and blood vessels. Exercise can also relieve stress and enhance your mood.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.