Spring is finally making its debut, drawing people out of their homes to enjoy the sunshine, warmth and beauty of nature in bloom. If you spent a sedentary winter indoors, this is a great opportunity to get out in your community, exploring local pathways and trails. The benefits of walking will extend beyond what you might expect, giving your brain power an extra boost in addition to the typically touted physical benefits.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) created a study to see if physical activity affects the thickness of the brain, which is considered to be an early and sensitive marker of brain health. Along with brain thickness, researchers observed the cognitive performance of study participants who were all sixty years of age or older.
Findings from the study indicated that seniors who struggle with memory issues are better able to focus and process information when they walk more than 4,000 steps a day. Further, avid walkers demonstrated “better cognitive functioning” than those who walked less than 4,000 steps.
While the study authors noted that these findings are more of an association, rather than proof, that daily walking protects the brain, it is certainly a study worth noting.
With the weather turning, it is the perfect time to start getting those daily steps in. Of course, doing so is easier when you have a friend to help motivate you. Walking is good for your physical, mental and cognitive well-being, and making it a social occasion will only add to these benefits.
Find like-minded people in your neighbourhood to go for a daily walk with through Amintro. An online community designed exclusively for those fifty plus, Amintro was created to increase social engagement and help seniors live life to the fullest.
Open up to the possibility of new friendships and with them a more active lifestyle and sense of adventure. Not only will you feel energized and benefit physically, your cognitive function will be better for it.
Membership to Amintro is free and you can register on our website or download the app from Google Play.
By Christine Tompa