A 30-minute stroll four times a week.
We’re talking about the time it would take to watch two episodes of your favorite crime show. Or maybe cook a fancy dinner from scratch.
And if you’re battling brain burps, or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), in that short amount of time you could send your brain function SOARING.
That’s right, not just slow down cognitive decline. But REVERSE it.
Essentially, slashing years off your brain age.
For decades now, we’ve been led to believe that once you’ve started to “lose it” upstairs, the best you could hope for is to slow down the slide towards dementia.
But now a new study out of the University Of Maryland has turned that conventional medicine claptrap on its head.
Because according to researchers exercising just 30 minutes four times a week can SIGNIFICANTLY improve your brain function.
Exercise REVERSED mild cognitive impairment
Here’s how they figured it out…
The researchers recruited a group of older adults with mild cognitive impairment for the study.
Each took tests to check their level of impairment and aerobic fitness. And everyone had an MRI to measure the blood flow to his or her brain as well.
Then for the next 12 weeks, the volunteers participated in what sounds like one of the easiest exercise programs every designed.
They simply strolled on a treadmill for 30 minutes four times a week. But the results were extraordinary.
Their scores on cognitive tests shot THROUGH THE ROOF. They didn’t just stop their mild cognitive impairment they REVERSED it.
Which means some mild aerobic exercise… like a brisk stroll after dinner four times a week… very well could turn the tables on YOUR brain slips too.
DECREASED blood flow RAISED brain function
But the surprises don’t end there.
The researchers even pinpointed what they believe is behind the astonishing results. And it flies right in the face of what everyone thought might be going on.
It turns out the exercise REDUCED blood flow in the brains of the exercisers who had MCI.
In this case, LESS was MORE.
You see when you start experiencing regular brain slips… like struggling for words or forgetting why you walked into a room… your body recognizes something is wrong.
In an attempt to correct the problem, your body sends extra blood rushing to your brain. And in healthy folks, the increased blood flow would be just what the doctor ordered.
But when you have mild cognitive impairment that effort backfires, overloading your brain and making things worse.
And that’s where exercise comes in.
“De-age” your brain with easy exercise
The new study shows that in folks with MCI exercise decreases the blood flow to key regions in your brain. In fact, as the volunteers experienced drops in their cerebral blood flow their scores on cognitive tests climbed.
At the same time, exercisers with healthy brains got what THEY needed too… increased blood flow.
And earlier research from the same team showed that adding more movement to your routine produces positive change in the neural networks associated with memory loss and amyloid build up in the brain.
If walking isn’t your thing, no problem. Try something else you like better such as swimming or dancing.
Just make sure you’re bumping up your breathing and heart rate for at least a half an hour four times a week to help reverse mild cognitive impairment.