Everyone knows exercise fights physical aging. But did you know it can provide longevity of mind as well? In a recent population-based observational study at the American Academy of Neurology, exercise proved to slow the rate of cognitive decline associated with aging by up to 10 years!
“The number of people over the age of 65 in the United States is on the rise, meaning the public health burden of thinking and memory problems will likely grow,” said study author Clinton B. Wright, MD, MS, of the University of Miami. “Our study showed that for older people, getting regular exercise may be protective, helping them keep their cognitive abilities longer.”
90% of participants practiced “light” exercise, such as walking or yoga, or none at all. The remaining 10% reported moderate-high intensity exercise such as aerobics or running. In examining the results after five years of practice, researchers found an astounding 10 year difference of aging. “We found that people who exercise moderately or heavily had a reduced risk of memory loss and what we call executive function, equivalent to about 10 years,” reported Dr. Mitchell Elkind.
Researchers said seniors should try 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.”
The key is participating in any activities that get your heart pumping. Walking, taking the stairs, swimming, jogging, and yoga are all great ways to find the mental benefits you are looking for.
What exercise routines do you currently have in your life? Will the issue of cognitive health inspire you to exercise more? Share with us!