How would you like to have a brain that functions 10 years younger? Everyone would.
And you can make it happen.
It doesn’t require taking a pill or visiting your doctor.
The researchers reported their findings in the journal Neurology just last month. They tested 876 older men and women using a standard neuropsychological examination. Then they asked them about their overall activity levels and exercise patterns. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, only 10% regularly engaged in moderate to high-intensity exercise. The other 90% either did not exercise at all or only had light -intensity exercise. Twelve years later, they tested the same group again. Here’s what they found.
The no exercise/light exercise group had significantly worse overall brain function and word memory. And their mental quickness was much slower. According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Clinton Wright 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.” So what did the researchers mean when they said high- and low-intensity exercise?
Well, here’s what didn’t qualify: walking, golf, bowling, and yoga. While good for us in other ways, these activities aren’t demanding enough to protect your brain. The kind of exercise that was effective was running, racquetball, aerobics, swimming, or calisthenics.
The authors stated, “We found that those with moderate to heavy activity had higher baseline scores and slower decline in comparison to inactive patients.” How much lower were the low- activity people’s scores? According to the researcher’s calculations, “The degree of decline was equivalent to the expected decline associated with approximately 10 years of cognitive aging.” In other words, on average, if you don’t regularly engage in a moderate to high intensity workout program, you can expect to have the brain function of someone who is 10 years older.
And one more thing. Don’t wait to get your fitness program in full swing. The authors found that if people already had signs of memory loss or mild cognitive impairment on their first exam, the exercise did not help. So the time to get this going is before the problems start, not after. As I keep saying, “The best cure for any disease is not to get it.” You can get all the details on how to start and maintain an effective exercise program in my book Bursting With Energy.
If you’re challenged with physical disabilities that limit your ability to perform intensive exercise, don’t forget about Power Plate. You can get all the details on my website, but suffice it to say that a Power Plate fitness program is a great way to get all the benefits of intensive exercise even if you have a disability. You can order Power Plate by calling 1-888-710-8413. Make sure you mention the code SV102022 when you call, for a special price.
Exercise Keeps Your Brain Young, Study Finds by MAGGIE FOX HEALTH MAR 23 2016, 4:33 PM ET www.nbcnews.com.
Willey JZ, Gardener H, et al. Leisure-time physical activity associates with cognitive decline: The Northern Manhattan Study. Neurology. 2016 May 17;86(20):1897-903.