Staying physically active does more than whip your body into shape—it may even keep your brain at the top of its game, according to new research.

Marc Poulin, an associate professor in the Faculties of Medicine and Kinesiology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, observed two groups of Canadian women older than 65—one group participated in regular physical activities and another group was inactive. The results? Cognitive function scores of the physically active women were 10 percent higher than their sedentary peers. The active group also had lower blood pressure and better vascular responses in the brain.

The study’s findings suggest that engaging in even small amounts of routine exercise, such as taking a walk every day, can increase blood flow to the brain to keep us mentally sharp as we age.