Sunday, July 21, 2013

Use ir or lose it



 If you've been reading, writing and doing other mentally stimulating activities, give yourself a pat on the back. A study published by the Neurology journal  showed that more frequent cognitive activity across the life span has an association with slower late-life cognitive decline.
 Those that reported the most reading and writing later in life were able to slow their memory decline by 32% compared to people with average mental activity.
 Those who reported the lowest mental stimulation in their later years had a 48 % faster memory decline compared to the average.
   Keep doing it.
  Now you may be wondering what other activities you can do to keep your mind active and healthy. You can do a lot.
 Exercise. You may want to go for a walk or a swim today. Many studies have shown the impact of exercise on memory.
 Among other things, exercise increases the levels of neurotropic factor (B.D.N.F) in your bloodstream.  This chemical has an effect on the connections among neurons and sparks neurogenesis. Exercise does not need to be exhausting to be effective. Studies have shown that walking briskly is associated with larger hippocampi after doing it for a year. (The hippocampus is an area of the brain associated with emotions and long-term memory).
  Exercise can also boost your creativity. You can read my post on this.
  Even weight training has a positive impact on memory. According to a study published in the Journal of Aging Research women aged 70-80 with mild cognitive impairment improved their memory. In this six month study  the women were divided in three groups. One did supervised aerobic exercises; a second group did resistance training twice a week and the control group only focused on balance and tone.
  The volunteers had to complete a battery of tests designed to study their verbal and spatial memory before the six month period of supervised exercises and once the period was over.
  The study showed that both spatial and verbal memory improved in the aerobic and the resistance training  groups.
  Meditation  also has some benefits according to different studies, but I'd like to write on this on a future post.
 It's time to exercise.

21 comments:

  1. This is very good information for those of us who are in our "golden years." I know I wish to maintain good cognitive ability for the remaining years of my life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep up the good work, Nellie. And thank you for your feedback.

      Delete
  2. Hi Julia .. I can believe that .. I certainly have learnt more via my blog and then related interests - be they specific to the blog, mainly historical, or about the internet, writing etc etc ... - than I have in my previous x years ...

    It is stimulating and informative and gives me a reason to keep going into the next decades ... I hope a few ..

    I now need to go get some exercise ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Hilary, the more we do the more we want to do. Our minds are fascinating. I would like to write a post on how intelligence can change over time...

      Delete
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