The New York Times recently ran an article about a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society which suggests that people who are physically active appear to be at lower risk for cognitive impairment late in life.
The study was conducted on over 9 300 women, all aged 65-years or over and asked whether they had been regularly active during their teenage years, as well as in their 30s and 50s. The New York Times’ article describes the results as follows:
“Those who had been active regularly at any age were at lower risk for impairment in later life, but the greatest benefit was for those who had been active in their teens. Only 8.5 percent of those active during adolescence were cognitively impaired later on, compared with 16.7 percent of those who had been inactive teenagers. After adjusting for differences between the groups and risk factors like diabetes, researchers concluded that physical activity during the teenage years was associated with a 35 percent lower risk for cognitive impairment later in life.”
It’s hardly surprising that staying active and fit may help reduce the risk of degenerative brain disorders and cognitive impairment. All conscious forms of movement - including walking, running, cycling etc – require coordination, where the brain relays messages to the muscles while determining the next movement in accordance to many various factors.
All of this requires a lot of neural activity which the brain must process accurately and efficiently. These actions force the brain to ‘flex’ itself…stimulating different neurons and improving the overall health and wellness of your body’s chief organ.