Take a walk for better (and better) memory.

Aerobic exercise is a twofer: good for your body, great for your mind, according to the latest research from brain-fitness pioneer Arthur Kramer. To understand just how great, consider what happens in its absence. Every year, a region called the hippocampus, which is key to memory, shrinks by about 1 to 2 percent, increasing the risk of dementia as the years roll by. However, Kramer’s new investigations reveal that the hippocampi of adults who walked briskly for about 45 minutes three times a week grew by about 2 percent over the course of a year, staving off age-related shrinking.

It’s never too late to start exercising, Kramer says; volunteers in his research were between 55 and 80 years old and hadn’t exercised at all. And it doesn’t need to be strenuous. “Anything that raises your heart rate seems to work,” he says. “Walking is fine. Just find something you like and do it.”

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