Shake up your early-morning routine for better brain health, researchers say

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People aged between 55 and 80 are being encouraged to add a morning workout to their daily routine to assist with better brain health. Source: Getty

Aussies aged 55 and over are being encouraged to get on their bikes or go for a run first thing in the morning to help maintain good brain health.

A study by Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in collaboration with The University of Western Australia has discovered some benefits to dragging yourself out of bed early, claiming morning exercise mitigates the impact of prolonged sitting on brain blood flow in those aged between 55 and 80-years-old.

According to results published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, morning exercise should be a top priority for Aussies to help prevent the slowing down in brain blood flow associated with ageing.

Through thorough research, scientists discovered the negative effects of prolonged sitting compared to the positive results seen in those who made an effort to exercise in the morning.

“We demonstrated that prolonged sitting is associated with a pattern of decline across the day, however, when participants performed a morning bout of exercise with or without subsequent breaks in sitting, cerebral blood velocity improved in the afternoon several hours after exercise,” Baker Institute’s Michael Wheeler explained.

“Our findings provide further supportive evidence that uninterrupted sitting should be avoided, and moderate-intensity exercise should be encouraged for the daily maintenance of cerebral blood flow.”

On top of this Baker Institute Head of Physical Activity Professor David Dunstan said with the prevalence of stroke and dementia increasing due to population ageing these results were extremely important.

“Ageing is also associated with an increased prevalence of various risk factors for cerebrovascular disease such as physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease,” he explained.

“Therefore, strategies to maintain cerebrovascular health among older adults with cardiovascular risk factors are a public health priority.”

Dunstan went on to say how many Aussies spend a very limited amount of time exercising which could impact their health greatly.

“Over a whole waking day, older adults spend about 5 per cent of time engaged in exercise of moderate-to-vigorous intensity, but spend a majority of time in sedentary behaviour which carries an increased risk for all-cause mortality,” he added.

“This study adds to the evidence suggesting that sedentary behaviours such as prolonged sitting may be negatively associated with aspects of brain health.”

What are your thoughts on this study? Do you exercise in the morning?

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.

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