To Your Health
April, 2016 (Vol. 10, Issue 04)
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Fit Body, Fit Brain

By Editorial Staff

This isn't the first time (and it won't be the last) that we share the connection between exercise and brain health.

The latest evidence linking the two comes courtesy of a study published in Neurology. Investigators interviewed nearly 900 elderly people (average age: 71 years; no signs of cognitive decline) regarding their exercise habits over a two-week period; gave each person an MRI and various cognitive tests seven years later; and then repeated the tests five years after that to compare results.

Seniors who had reported performing moderate- to high-intensity exercise such as aerobics or running had less decline in memory and processing skills compared to seniors who had reported performing low-intensity exercise (gardening, walking) at the start of the study. In fact, the brains of people who reported low activity aged approximately 10 years more than brains of the high-activity group, according to the researchers.

You might recall that we recently reported on another study that linked exercise to increased telomere length. (Telomeres are basically the "caps" on DNA strands; their length and quality is an indicator of cell age.) The point is, exercise is fast becoming more than just a great way to keep your body in shape; it can help keep your brain in shape, too.