Woman jogger's feet and legs

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Push the Pace

Exercise is critical for preventing cognitive decline and increasing the growth of the hippocampus (the hub that controls emotion and memory), so any opportunities to fit in more walking is key. But the best move for your brain is to move at a faster clip. "The data that is most convincing is when people exercise to the point where they are getting their heart rate up and a little out of breath," says David Wolk, MD, co-director of the Penn Memory Center and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Rather than taking a leisurely stroll, each time you head out increase your pace so that you're moving fast enough so that it's tough to hold a conversation, he says.