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Not enough adults exercise

July 28, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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You don’t like it. You don’t have the will power. You don’t have the energy. You don’t have the money. You aren’t the “exercise type.”

Whatever the reason, the majority of adults age 40 and older are not getting the Global Council on Brain Health recommendations of 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous exercise per week, according to AARP’s 2016 survey on physical activity.

Those extra minutes of tube time or snoozing could come at a cost to your cognitive health. Two-thirds of adults who reported problems remembering things do not get the recommended amount of exercise, according to the survey.

Adults who regularly exercised reported improvements in their ability to solve problems, manage stress, learn new things, pay attention and remember things in the past five years compared with people who did not regularly exercise. Exercisers also reported improved life satisfaction and wisdom.

Fifty-six percent of adults age 40 and older say they get some form of exercise each week but only 34 percent actually get the recommended 2.5 hours. Walking for exercise, leisure and work were the three most commonly-reported physical activities among adults.

AARP used data from GfK’s Knowledge Panel of 1,530 adults age 40 and older collected between April and May 2016. Additional interviews were conducted among 510 Hispanic/Latino, 503 African American and 362 Asian American adults age 40 and up. 

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