The Cottages Blog

Exercise Could Keep Your Senior Mom's Brain 10 Years Younger

Posted by Susan Abercrombie on Nov 10, 2016 9:00:00 AM

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Regular exercise is important if you want to stay healthy and happy. Having a daily exercise routine can help you avoid falls and certain injuries. Exercise increases your serotonin levels, resulting in improved mood and stabilized emotions. Now, a recent study suggests that seniors who exercise regularly could extend their lifespan by up to ten years.

This study, conducted at Concordia University’s PERFORM Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, looked at close to 900 seniors. Participants took standard tests on memory, attention, and other mental skills. MRI scans were taken of each participant’s brain around the time that they took this first test. Participants then repeated these same tests five years later.

During the study, participants were asked about their levels of exercise. About ten percent of participants said they regularly did moderate to intense exercises such as jogging, calisthenics, and other aerobic activities. Other participants said they did very light exercise, like walking, or no exercise at all.

At the end of the study, researchers found that the seniors who did moderate to intense exercise on a regular basis did not show cognitive decline over the next five years, versus seniors who did very light to no exercise. In fact, the brains of the less active seniors were found to be about ten years older than the brains of the active seniors.

While these findings do not prove that exercise slows brain aging down, it does show a correlation between exercise and reduced risk of cognitive decline. Choosing to exercise regularly is never a bad decision. Other studies have shown that physical activity boosts blood flow to the brain. Regular exercise can also help you avoid or manage many other conditions, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, unwanted weight gain, and diabetes.

 

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Topics: Senior Health Care

Susan Abercrombie

Written by: Susan Abercrombie

Susan has 32 years of nursing experience caring for seniors in assisted living and doctors’ offices. She now manages two Cottage communities in Alabama. Susan and her husband of 30 years, Tim, have two dogs, Sydney and Macy.