How much exercise should I do to maintain a healthy brain?

By | October 21st, 2020

You’re right, it’s too generic to just say that you need to exercise, and in my clinic, I go much further into that. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity. I recommend to my patients who are over age 65 that that’s the goal and what we’re working towards. It doesn’t mean starting tomorrow, that’s what you have to hit, but the goal is roughly 30–40 minutes per day, 5–6 days per week so that you can hit 150 minutes. When I say moderate aerobic activity, that really means that you’re reaching 70–75 percent of your maximum heart rate. In our research center, we do the Talk Test. If you can do an activity and you’re able to talk and sing, that’s considered light aerobic activity. That’s good, but that isn’t what we’re looking for. If you can’t talk or sing, that’s considered vigorous. That’s great, but you could do a little bit less. Moderate is being able to talk and not sing. I have this conversation with my patients; I’m really looking for that sweet spot. If you can do vigorous, I’m all for it. I think the more, the better, but for safety’s sake and just so we know what we need to reach, moderate aerobic activity is good.

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