Yet another study has added to evidence that healthy older adults who strengthen their muscles are likely to beef up their brains as well. The research, published in PLOS ONE, compared participants who did no physical exercise with three groups of participants who exercised either for 75 minutes per week, 150 minutes per week or 225 minutes per week.

All the exercisers showed improvements in cognitive skills such as visual-spatial processing, overall attention levels and ability to focus. The more a participant engaged in aerobic exercise, the greater the benefit to his or her brain, the researchers found.

Establishing and following through with an exercise regimen can be difficult, especially if you have not formed the habit of working out on a regular basis. Finding excuses to avoid exercise is easy, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), but you can overcome the temptation to skip your workouts.

What You Can Do

Here are some suggestions for changing the way you think in order to conquer exercise avoidance:

  1. Feeling too stressed-out to work out? Experiencing stress over problems at home or work can sometimes make exercise feel like more than you can handle. To overcome this block, remember that exercise is a great stress-reducer
  2. Not seeing any results? Don’t expect too much of yourself. Remember that it takes time to see improvements in weight and fitness
  3. Lacking motivation? Don’t give way to negative self-talk. Motivate yourself with positive thoughts
  4. Sore and tired from your workouts? Don’t overdo it. You will meet your goals faster if you remember to go slowly and build in days for recovery
  5. Can’t find the time? Be flexible. Try not to let unexpected events, such as working late, interfere with your workout plans