Exercise Keeps the Mind in Shape

Yet another study has found a reason to encourage your members to keep exercising: It found that exercise helps to keep people’s minds healthy as they age.
The study, which was presented in May at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, involved almost 6,000 women.

Researchers had women complete a modified version of the Mini Mental-State Exam, a common measure of brain function, at the beginning of the study, and again six to eight years later.

To quantify the amount of exercise each woman engaged in, researchers questioned them about their daily activities, such as work around the house, how many flights of stairs they climbed in a week and the number of blocks they normally walked.

“In the higher-energy groups, we saw much less cognitive decline,” which amounted to a protective effect of as much as 40 percent, says Kristine Yaffe, chief of geriatric psychiatry at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Even a little bit of exercise was helpful in terms of keeping the women mentally healthy, while higher activity levels afforded even more protection.

To validate study results, researchers took into account factors such as age, presence of health problems and whether the women smoked. “Despite their differences, the relationship between physical activity and cognitive decline was found for all subgroups,” Yaffe says.

March 26th, 2012 - Posted in Fitness | | Comments Off

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