Exercise and Your Memory
Staying active can improve your body and mind
You know exercise has many benefits, especially as you get older. There are many reasons to work out and many ways to increase physical activity. But did you know that recent studies have shown exercise can improve how your brain works?
We want you to know how exercise can boost your brain and how VA can help.
Exercise might help your brain
Activities such as brisk walking may help your memory. Exercise boosts the part of the brain that forms memories and your “thinking ability.” Moderate physical exercise can even protect the brain as you age.
Some of the benefits of physical activity on brain health occur immediately after a session of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. These include improved sleep and cognitive function. There are many other reasons to exercise, such as improved balance, blood pressure control, and insulin sensitivity.
What you can do
Starting a new exercise program is a great first step. If you need support or guidance, VA is here to help. You don’t have to start on your own. Here are some helpful ideas and links to resources.
Create a physical activity plan using the FITT principles
Get help increasing your physical activity with MOVE! and TeleMOVE!
Find exercise routines that support aging through your local VAMC or this VHA YouTube playlist
Choose exercises from this list of suggested activities
You can keep track of your progress with the MOVE! Coach app. The app has activities to help you create a routine that works best for you. If you’re unsure how much exercise is right for you, send a Secure Message to your provider to discuss your options.
Please vote in our unscientific poll. All responses are anonymous.
Five Exercises for People Over 50
Exercise Safely with Arthritis
Brain Health (VA Geriatrics and Extended Care)
Updated March 7, 2022