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In fact, regular exercise, even started late in life, can help slow down the aging process altogether, so you'll be less likely to suffer from chronic disease or disability, and more likely to be fit and trim, agile, mobile and happy, even as you get older. Furthermore, partaking in light or moderate physical activity has even been found to prolong lifespan.
Here are some ways that exercise can enhance brainpower and mood:
Why exercise Is Good for the Brain
The latest research is showing that by exercising even moderate amounts can trigger processes in the brain that activate the division of stem cells and promote neurogenesis (the production of new brain cells).
One new study has revealed an insight into why exercise is so good for the brain. In summary, it appears that exercise lowers the activity of bone-morphogenetic protein or BMP, which slows the production of new brain cells.
Even Light or Moderate Physical Activity Reduces the Risk of Early Death
The study combined the results from the largest studies around the world on the health impact of light and moderate intensity physical activity. It showed that the largest health benefits from light or moderate activity (such as walking and cycling) were in people who do hardly any physical activity at all. Although more activity is better - the benefits of even a small amount of physical activity were very large in the least physically active.
The good news from this study is that you don't have to do huge amounts of exercise to benefit from physical activity. Just achieving the recommended levels of physical activity (equivalent to 30 minutes daily of moderate intensity activity on 5 days a week) reduces the risk of death by 19%, while 7 hours per week of moderate activity (compared with no activity) reduces the risk of death by 24%.
The lead researcher said:
"This research confirms that is not just exercising hard that is good for you but even moderate everyday activities, like walking and cycling, can have major health benefits. Just walking to the shops or walking the children to school can lengthen your life - as well as bringing other benefits for well-being and the environment."
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