workout to age better

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Don't Treat Your Workouts as Optional

The research: Exercising regularly, year after year, helps protect your brain from the effects of aging by helping to create new neurons, increasing blood flow to areas that control memory and helping maintain overall brain volume, which naturally shrinks with age. A mouse study suggests that even starting a regular exercise regimen in middle age can prevent brain deterioration in older age. Other researchers found that exercise helped protect against brain changes linked to dementia in people who were 75 years and older.

Here's why it's important to limit extended breaks from the gym: After just 10 days of inactivity, blood flow to the brains of formerly regular exercisers had seriously decreased, found a recent study, which suggests that you have to keep up with your workouts if you want to continue seeing the brain-boosting benefits.

What you can do: Schedule your workouts like you would work meetings or dinners out, since many experts say you're more likely to follow through if it's built into your schedule. Once they're scheduled, stick to them.