The Right Dose of Exercise for the Aging Brain

The Right Dose of Exercise for the Aging Brain

Gretchen Reynolds

The Right Dose of exercise for the aging brain.jpg

A small amount of exercise may improve our ability to think as we age, but more may not be better, according to a new study of exercise and cognition.

We all know that working out is good for us. But precisely how much or how little exercise is needed to gain various health benefits, and whether the same dose of exercise that bolsters heart health, for instance, is also ideal for the brain has remained unclear.

For the new study, which was published last month in PLOS One, scientists with the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Fairway, Kan., and other institutions recently decided to see if they could determine just how much exercise is needed to improve the ability to think.

They began by recruiting 101 sedentary older adults, at least 65 years of age, who were generally healthy, with no symptoms of dementia or other cognitive impairments.