Walking Increases Brain Function

Researchers from Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience followed 65 adults (aged 59-80) who were part of a walking; or toning and stretching group.  All participants were inactive before the study,  reporting less than two episodes of physical activity for 30 minutes or more in the previous six months.

These professional couch potatoes as one researcher described them have proven that even moderate exercise in case walking at ones own pace for 40 minutes 3 times a week can enhance the connectivity of important brain circuits, combat declines in brain function associated with aging and increase performance on cognitive tasks.

In this study, neuroscientists identified a brain circuit called the default mode networked (DMN) which dominates brain activity when a person is least engaged with the outside world for instance, when day dreaming.   This circuit, like all the brains circuits, loses connectivity as a person ages.  So its good news that a simple activity, like walking, can counteract this process and enhance connectivity.   (So you can keep on daydreaming!)