A new study says that walking can help to preserve brain health in seniors. Researchers at the University of California in Los Angles discovered that among 60-year-olds who are already encountering memory issues, their ability to focus and process information improved if they included at least 4,000 steps into their daily routines.

“We looked at how physical activity affects thickness of brain structures and also cognitive [thinking] performance of adults over the age of 60,” said Prabha Siddarth, the study’s author.

Apparently, the walking caused areas of the brain needed for thought processing to thicken. Thickness in the brain is known to be “an early and sensitive marker of brain health.”

In addition, the subjects who walked a minimum of two miles (4,000 steps) had “better cognitive functioning” than the group that walked less than 4,000 steps.

The study authors caution that the fining is an association, and not proof that daily walking really protects the brain.

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