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Just Keep Your Heart and Brain Young!

August 20, 2021
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A beautiful life begins with a beautiful heart and mind…

Here’s a startling fact: About 3 in 4 adults don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even more sobering: Many adults don’t get any activity at all, aside from what they need to make it through the day. And as we age, more and more of us stop moving. Almost 23 percent of adults between age 18 and 44 are sedentary. For those 65 and older, it’s around 32 percent.

While you likely know that long-term inactivity weakens your bones and muscles, you may not realize that it can damage your heart and brain, too. This, in turn, raises your odds of dementia and heart disease, among other conditions, and can lead to early death.

But so true that getting exercise can help keep these organs healthy and delay or prevent their decline and if you regularly work up a sweat over a number of years.

“You really need to think about ways to keep moving,”

“Everything that increases your overall activity can ward off that sedentary lifestyle,” he adds-along with the cardiac and cognitive problems that can come with it.

How exercise benefits the heart?

When you exercise, your heart beats faster, increasing blood flow and supplying your body with necessary oxygen. The more you work out, the stronger your heart gets and the more elastic your blood vessels become. This helps you maintain a lower blood pressure and decreases your chances of developing many cardiovascular problems.

It’s aerobic exercise- also called cardio - that really does the trick. Just do consistent, long-term moderate or vigorous cardio training may be most helpful, though any physical activity promotes good heart health.

How exercise benefits the brain?

What’s good for your heart is generally good for your mind - and research shows breaking a sweat on a regular basis can boost brain health in several ways.

First, exercise is tied to improved cognition, which includes better memory, attention and executive function - things like controlling emotions and completing tasks. It can enhance the speed with which you process and react to information, too, along with your capacity to draw from your past knowledge and experiences.

When can you start?

No matter our age, pretty much all of us can gain from exercise. “There is evidence to suggest that doing more vigorous exercise earlier in life is more beneficial,” “but it’s never too late to start because everyone benefits from doing some sort of movement or physical activity.”

In addition to its rewards for the heart and brain, working out:

• Boosts your mood and energy.
• Helps prevent injuries.
• Lowers your risk of other diseases associated with aging, like arthritis.
• Helps you remain independent.

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