Research is showing that moderate physical activity promotes brain health. People who exercise regularly are less likely to develop heart disease, stroke and diabetes, which are all conditions that are associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to improving your general health, physical activity is also beneficial for your brain health. Even moderate physical activity promotes the circulation of blood to the brain, which nourishes the cells with nutrients and oxygen, and may even encourage the development of new cells.
Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living is designed to help us make wise choices about physical activity—choices to improve health, help prevent disease and allow people to get the most out of life.
Take Action on Being Active
- Think of it as “activity” not “exercise.” For those who feel they have little opportunity to exercise, start by adding a bit of physical activity into your daily routine. Choose a brisk walk to the store rather than driving the car, or wash and wax the car instead of going to the car wash.
- Choose activities and sports that you enjoy.
- Aerobic activities can help maintain general fitness. For example, many experts recommend walking as one of the safest and most effective forms of aerobic exercise.
- Start where you can and set reasonable goals.
- Plan physical activity with another person so that you are more likely to keep active while you also gain the brain-healthy benefits of social interaction.
- Check with your doctor about the kinds of physical activity that might be right for you or if you have specific health concerns.
Note: Your abilities, health situation and interests should be taken into consideration when choosing brain healthy activities. If you have questions about your own situation, speak to your doctor or health-care provider.