The New York Times recently reported on a study by the University of Texas, Southwestern who had conducted a year-long study into the benefits of exercise, such as walking, swimming and cycling could help slow down the effects of ageing be that physical or mental.
Researchers at the university studied a cohort of 50 women and men who were over the age of 55 and who had been relatively sedentary. 50% of the group undertook stretching and toning exercise and the remainder were able to choose aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling, dancing, or swimming. The idea being to elevate their heart rates to some degree. Interestingly, most of the active group chose walking.
Initially everyone undertook their respective regimes 3 times a week and were then allowed to add additional exercise days if they wanted. What researchers found was that these sedentary boldies started working out on average 5 times a week. Furthermore, they appeared healthier, fitter and felt stronger. Their brain scans also showed improved blood flow and oxygenation levels.
What we found at TheBoldAge found fascinating was that whilst both groups performed better on reasoning and recall at the end of the year, the biggest improvements came in the more active group, especially around decision making and planning.
Whilst more work is required, given the study was short and with a relatively small number of people, it nonetheless is directionally important suggesting that aerobic exercise could potentially help in fight in reducing dementia risks and certainly in improving the effects of brain ageing.
So go on boldies get active – go for a brisk walk or a bike ride it all helps.