Walk Your Way to a Younger, Healthier Brain

woman walking outside

Looking for the fountain of youth? Just look for your sneakers. Then lace them up and head outside. It turns out that a leisurely stroll isn’t just good for your body. It’s good for your brain, too.

See more about how a Daily Walk Gets Brain Functions Moving Along the Right Path

In a University of Illinois study, researchers followed 65 adults, ranging in age from 55 to 80. There weren’t any star athletes in the group. In fact, some of them couldn’t walk the length of a football field at first.

But they started small — a 40-minute stroll, three times a week, for six months — and they kept on going.

As you’d expect, that half a year of walking made the participants feel a little fitter and a little faster. But there were some big surprises, too. Those easy strolls even built up their brain connectivity.

That’s important, because one of the signs of aging is a loss of coordination between regions of the brain, like the ones that control multitasking, decision-making and problem-solving. But after just six months of walking, participants experienced big improvements in connectivity.

Their memories were sharper and their attention was more focused — in other words, they’d taken years off their brains.

To learn more, check out these articles on Staying Sharp:

Stress May Be to Blame on Days When You Start to Feel Older Than You Are

Feeling Younger Than Your Real Age May Actually Translate to a Longer Life

Search AARP Blogs
Related Posts
June 04, 2020 05:07 PM
If starting your day without a cup of coffee sounds like torture, you’ve got company. The latest statistics from the National Coffee Association show 90 percent of older coffee drinkers need a morning cup to jump-start their day.
May 12, 2020 05:37 PM
Scientists have been telling us for years how beneficial yoga is for our mental and physical health, but what does yoga actually do to our brain to achieve these benefits?
May 12, 2020 05:34 PM
When the country is stressed out, what do we do? We bake.