With all the supplements out there, exercise will always be the best anti-aging solution we have!
Exercise Could Make Your Brain 10 Years Younger
We get it – there’s study upon studies of this stuff but it’s not exactly scientific evidence that proves a direct causal relationship to your health. Physical activity has countless health benefits, including helping to keep your mind sharp. Now, new research reveals just how much of an impact exercise can have on brain health as we age.
The study, published in an issue of Neurology, a medical journal publication from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), found that older adults who reported either light or no exercise at all experienced a cognitive decline equal to 10 more years of aging when compared to people who were moderate to intense exercises.
“The number of people over the age of seventy in North America is rising – meaning the public health burden of thinking and memory problems will likely grow,” study author Dr.Wright, of the University of Miami, said in a statement. ” The study showed that for older people, getting regular exercise may be more protective than we first thought, helping them keep their cognitive abilities significantly longer.”
Mr. Wright and his experienced team examined health data on nearly nine hundred elderly patients with an average age of seventy-one. In a questionnaire, participants were asked how long and how often they had engaged in physical activity during the previous two weeks.
An average of nearly 7 years later, each of the subjects took tests evaluating memory and thinking skills and got an MRI of their brain. And another five years after that, the participants took the memory and thinking tests yet again.
In all, ninety percent of the group reported light exercises, such as casual walking and yoga, or little to no exercise at all. The remaining ten percent were categorized as high-intensity exercises and reported participating in activities like jogging, aerobics, and brisk walks.
After reviewing the data, the researchers found that of the people who had no signs of memory and thinking problems after the first set of cognitive tests, those who reported low activity levels showed a greater decline over five years than their high activity counterparts.
“We mostly found that people who exercise moderately or heavily had a significantly reduced risk of memory loss and what we call high functioning type A, equivalent to about ten years,” study co-author Dr. Elkind, professor of neurology and epidemiology at New York Presbyterian, told CBS News recently.
The difference remained after the researchers controlled for other factors that could affect brain health, including smoking, alcohol use, high blood pressure, and body mass index.
Researchers say seniors should try to move around as much as they can. “Calisthenics several times a week, playing handball or tennis, even moderate amounts of activity can be a benefit,” Elkind said.
The authors note important limitations to the study, including the fact that that they did not collect lifetime patterns of exercise and relied on only self-reported information from the participants.
However, they said it provides encouraging information about the benefits of exercise for older adults.
“Staying active is an attractive option to help in reducing the burden of cognitive impairment in public health because it is low cost and doesn’t interfere with medications,” said Wright. “Our results suggest that moderate exercise may help older people delay aging of the brain, but more research from randomized clinical trials comparing exercise programs to more sedentary activity is needed to confirm these results.” Nevertheless, staying fit to the best of your ability is always the wise thing to bet on.
Learn the top 10 myths of exercise. There’s never been so much motivation for wanting to maintain your cardiovascular fitness. So, what are you waiting for – it’s time to get moving.