Can Walking Your Dog Increase Your Brain Health?

taking a brisk walk can increase your brain health

I’ve been making time to get my body moving on a regular basis. We tend to lead sedentary lifestyles these days, always sitting. At the computer at work, on the couch at home and in the car. I came across this article over on the Natural News website that said going for a brisk walk can increase your brain health. Growing up I used to love taking the family dog out for a walk after dinner. I don’t currently have a dog, but I do enjoy a nice after dinner walk, and having a dog is a great excuse to take a walk.

Go for a brisk walk every day to protect your brain

Aerobic exercise, such as taking a brisk walk, each day can help protect the brain from cognitive decline, according to a recent study. In the U.S., approximately 50 million people are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the country, or other forms of dementia.

A team of researchers from the University of Connecticut, University of Alabama, and Hartford Hospital conducted a study on whether exercise could slow down mental decline or improve the thinking ability and decision making of older adults. For the study, the research team reviewed 19 past studies that looked at the effect of exercise on cognitive function in older adults who are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

A total of 1,145 older adults, most of whom were in their mid- to late 70s, took part in the studies. Of the participants, 65 percent of them were at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and 35 percent had been diagnosed with the condition.

The findings of the study, which were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, revealed that older adults who did aerobic exercise alone showed the most significant improvement in brain function in comparison to those who participated in both aerobic training and strength training exercises. In addition, those who did not exercise at all experienced declines in cognitive function. Furthermore, older adults who exercised exhibited small improvements in cognitive function, regardless of the type of exercise they performed.

“Our findings suggest exercise training may delay the decline in cognitive function that occurs in individuals who are at risk of or have Alzheimer’s disease — with aerobic exercise possibly having the most favorable effect,” said one of the researchers of the study, Gregory Panza, of the University of Connecticut.


Fascinating stuff! And extra motivation to get out and go walking. Do you have a daily move your body routine?

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