Evidence shows exercise is good for the brain

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Brain benefits of exercise: Ali Gorman with Healthcheck on Action News at 5 p.m. (WPVI)

There are plenty of reasons to stay in shape as you get older to maintain a healthy a weight and strong bones.

There's also more evidence it can help keep your mind sharp.

A 30-minute walk, 5 days a week will help you meet the minimum CDC recommendations for older adults.

But one study links the biggest boost in brainpower to longer sessions of 45 minutes to an hour.

And if you can, pick up your pace. Getting your heart rate up seems to maximize the cognitive benefits. But it's not just about aerobics.

One study that looked at older women found that those who had stronger, more powerful legs actually retained more of their brain's grey matter, which could be a sign of a more robust cognitive health as you age.

If you're steady on your feet, try standing up without using your hands. Then do it again. Try squeezing in a few repetitions in, during commercial breaks.

The Chinese martial art of Tai Chi also appears to benefit the brain.

Tai chi is easy on your joints, and good for people who aren't as mobile.
But if you are new to working out, you want to check with your healthcare provider first.

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