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Stepping it up for brain health

Updated: Aug 11, 2023


Woman walking around shopping

How many steps does it take to fend off cognitive decline?

And how many steps do you take each day?


Studies show as few as 3500-6999 steps per day is associated with a lower cognitive decline rate after 2 years.[1] Taking ≥7500 steps per day provides better attention span, reaction time and motor speed.[2]


Ways to get your steps up for brain health:


👟Walk and talk with a friend🧑🏽‍🤝‍🧑

Catchup on the gossip, share memories, have a debate about a controversial topic… Whatever the conversation, you’ll be upping the steps without any effort!


👟Walk in nature🌳🌻

Better than the boring treadmill, get out and look at your surroundings (rain, hail or shine), interact with people and nature .


👟Incidental exercise🪜🧹🚶🏼‍♀️

Just move! Sitting is the new smoking for health, so any and all movement throughout the day is beneficial and adds to your total steps.

  • Take the stairs, instead of the lift

  • Walk to the shops for your bread, instead of driving

  • Standup at your computer desk

  • Clean the house and do the gardening

👟Mix it up🎾🚣🏼‍♀️💃🏼🏊🏼‍♀️

Variety is the spice of life and will keep you from getting bored, as well using a lot of different muscles!

Try: swimming, bike riding, jumping rope, kayaking, golfing, skiing, choreographed dancing, roller skating…


There is an activity for everyone, for every weather, for every day!


How many steps?[3]

Activity

Step count

​Half hour walking the dog

3660

Half hour spin class

6000

Half hour jog

6960

Half hour on the trampoline

3030

Half hour doing laps in the pool

5430

Cleaning the house

2850

An hour of yoga

4200

🎗️Remember, you need only 7500 steps a day to get better attention span, reaction time and motor speed for your brain health!




References:

  1. Chen ST, et al. Accelerometer-measured daily steps and subjective cognitive ability in older adults: A two-year follow-up study. Experimental Gerontology 2020;133:110874, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0531556519308228?via%3Dihub

  2. Chen LJ, et al. Associations between daily steps and cognitive function among inpatients with schizophrenia. BMC Psychiatry 2022;22(1):87, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8815184/

  3. https://getfit.mit.edu/sites/default/files/resource/Convert_activities_to_steps.pdf



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