As we age, so do our brains, but researchers at Concordia University in Canada believe there may be a couple of simple things we can do each day to maintain healthy brain function even as we grow older—and the first is taking the stairs.
A team of scientists analyzed the brains of more than 300 healthy adults aged 19 to 79 and discovered that stair climbing may actually help slow down the aging process of our brains. Specifically, those who were able to climb more stairs appeared to have physically “younger” brains based on the volume of grey matter seen (since we often experience a decline in grey matter with age).
Likewise, it seems that keeping our minds sharp through active learning also translates to better brain health as we get older. Study findings, published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, revealed a positive relationship between brain health and the number of school years participants completed.
“This study shows that education and physical activity affect the difference between a physiological prediction of age and chronological age, and that people can actively do something to help their brains stay young,” said lead author Jason Steffener in a recent news release. In other words, adding few more flights of stairs and continuing to learn and study new things may go a long way toward keeping our brains in their prime.