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News: Physical Activity & Aging Brains

Published in the NY Times, 12/7/2021 Phys Ed by Gretchen Reynolds

"Simply walking increases immune cells that may help keep our memory sharp."

"Staying physically active as we age substantially drops our risk of developing dementia during our lifetimes, and it doesn't require prolonged exercise. Walking or moving about, rather than sitting, may be all it takes to help bolster the brain, and a new study of octogenarians from Chicago may help to explain why.

The study, which tracked how often older people moved or sat and then looked deep inside their brains after they died, found that certain vital immune cells worked differently in the brains of older people who were active compared to their more sedentary peers. Physical activity seemed to enhance their brain's health, their thinking abilities and whether they experienced the memory loss of Alzheimer's disease. The findings add to growing evidence that when we move our bodies, we change our minds, no matter how advanced our age."

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