Moderate-Intensity Morning Exercise Can Improve Decision-Making In Older Adults

Exercise is not only essential for fitness, but it also plays a role in improving one’s mental health. Physical activity has been found to have a positive impact on memory. It can reduce stress, enable one to sleep better as well as give a boost to one’s mood. Patients of ADHD can also benefit from exercise.

Several studies have dived into how exercise is crucial for the health and lifestyle of older adults. Recently AAA recommended exercise to older adults who wanted to keep driving. Now a new study has revealed that exercising in the morning can improve the cognitive abilities of older adults. Related to prolonged sitting, it can keep one’s memory and cognitive abilities sharp.

What Did This Study Reveal?

A study on older Australians, which has been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, has found that moderate-intensity exercise in the morning paired with short light-intensity walking can improve memory and decision-making. Called ‘Brain Breaks,’ this research has been carried out by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in collaboration with The University of Western Australia.

The study also shows how exercise instead of sitting can boost cognitive performance. The study comprised more than 65 adults in the age bracket of 55 to 80. It analyzed how acute morning exercise done on a treadmill effected various aspects of cognition with and without short 3-minute walking breaks in a long 8-hour day of sitting.

The protein which stands at the center of the benefits driven by exercise is BDNF which plays a massive role in the survival and growth of neurons that transfer information in the brain. It was found that BDNF was boosted when moderate-intensity exercise was done in the morning with or without walking in comparison to prolonged sitting.

Michael Wheeler, physical activity researcher, says with regards to this study that sitting without breaks of exercise should be avoided in order to maintain cognitive functionality at optimal levels. He stresses that such studies are crucial to show an aging population how they can lead a better quality of life.

He says, “This study highlights how relatively simple changes to your daily routine could have a significant benefit to your cognitive health. It also reveals that one day we may be able to do specific types of exercise to enhance specific cognitive skills such as memory or learning.” Therefore, older adults who want to stay cognitively sharp must not neglect exercise.


Exercise comes with a bunch of benefits for health. A new study shows moderate-intensity exercise in the morning and then brief walking sessions throughout the day can improve the memory as well as decision-making skills of older adults. A researcher of this study says that this can improve the quality of life of older adults.