SOS: Day 65
Keep your brain sharp as long as you’re alive.
If you’re going to live to a ripe old age, it’s no good to have a body that functions but a brain that doesn’t.
Here’s something that dramatically improves both: exercise.
There’s been a lot of research, and it points to one thing:
If you exercise moderately starting in midlife or later, you dramatically reduce your risk of mild cognitive impairment (defined as the middle ground between normal thinking and dementia).
If you’re already experiencing impairment (hey, did you see where I put my pen?), six months of exercising at high-intensity will reverse it.
In a recent Mayo Clinic study, researchers looked at 1,324 individuals. Those who moderately exercised—brisk walking, aerobics, yoga, strength training or swimming—during midlife or later were much less likely to have cognitive impairment.
Midlife moderate exercise was associated with 39 percent reduction in the odds of developing it. Exercise in late life was associated with a 32 percent reduction.
Researchers aren’t sure why exercise has this effect. Some think it produces nerve-protecting compounds, greater blood flow to the brain, improved survival of neurons, and the decreased risk of heart and blood vessel diseases. However, they also hypothesize that the physically fit might be more disciplined with diet, preventive health measures, and other healthy living variables.
There is another line of research involving the hippocampus, a funny little curved thing in your brain essential to memory formation. Awww. It shrinks as you age.
But fit elderly adults have a bigger hippocampus and a 40% advantage in spatial memory.
Exercise. Today. Right now. Especially if you’re in midlife. Especially if you’re elderly. Get on the dreadmill, habithackers, and you might have an easier time finding your keys.
SOS Month 3
What to do so far:
In case you missed a day, the reminders below are clickable.
Get in shape for the best years ahead.
Eat chia…don’t pet it.
Exercise keeps your brain sharp (your bod, too).