The mental perks of exercise are as good as the benefits for your body. For one, exercise can help to improve memory and thinking.

Physical activities reduce insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulate the release of growth factors, chemicals in the brain known to affect the health of brain cells and the development of new blood vessels in this organ.

In addition, movement boosts our heart rate and pumps more oxygen into our heads. Exercise also improves mood and sleep and reduces stress and anxiety, emotions that can negatively affect cognition.

According to experts, just 150 minutes each week of moderate-intensity exercise, such as swimming, walking or even intensely mopping the floor, could lead to a boost in cognitive function.

In addition, adults ages 70 and older who have engaged in regular exercise for decades may be as fit as individuals in their 40s. Simply walking for 30 to 45 minutes daily is enough to reap benefits for the brain that can fight off Alzheimer’s disease.