We all know that regular aerobic exercise lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. And in the short term, a good workout can clear your head, helping you think clearly and making you more productive. And now, mounting evidence shows that those cerebral effects aren’t just short-term. Increased blood flow to the brain, among other factors, has physiological impacts that improve cognitive functioning and fend off age-related memory loss and dementia.

Chronic inflammation in the body contributes to diseases like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, but it can also affect the brain, leading to cognitive dysfunction, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise is an effective tool for suppressing inflammation in the body. In a study published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, researchers found that just 20 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise decreased markers of inflammation in 47 healthy volunteers. Although most people associate cognitive decline with old age, brain health should really be a priority for everyone. It’s never too late (or too early) to begin an aerobic exercise program in light of the studies showing improvements in brain matter and cognitive impairment with an increase in cardio fitness.

In addition to exercising, taking a supplement such as Prevagen has been found to support cognitive function and other normal health challenges, such as mild memory loss associated with aging.