5 Reasons Why Exercise Protects Aging Brains - AARP

AARP published an article earlier this month extolling the virtues of exercise to protect aging brains. The advocacy group for seniors reported on a study by researchers with Scotland's University of Edinburgh.

Here are the 5 major points of the article:

1) Physically active seniors had less brain shrinkage than those with less exercise.

2) Exercises to keep the brain active included household chores to keep fit, moderate exercise or competitive sport several times per week

3) More exercise leads to less brain damage and more grey matter, commonly considered to be the 'thinking' cells.

4) Exercise increases the oxygen level of blood, to maintain healthier brain tissues. Walking is just as effective as running or lifting weights in terms as burning calories.

5) Social and cerebral activities, like going out, reading or socializing, displayed no protective effect on brain changes. Researchers suggested that seniors keep their brain teaser puzzles, their positive effects on the brain hadn't been measured, yet.

Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences maintain strong exercise programs for their residents.