The Meeting Place

Activities that can stave off brain ageing

Running and lifting weights might be a crucial step in helping your body delay the effects of ageing, but those exercises may be only part of the story.

A University of Georgia researcher found that the type of activity you choose may also have an effect on your brain’s response to ageing - and, according to the data reviewed, may even help improve your cognitive function.

The study researched more than 70 reviews of previous studies comparing the benefits of exercise alone with the benefits of exercise plus some type of cognitive component. They found more improvement among participants when exercise was paired with some type of skill than with exercise alone.

“The people that were in training programs that were more complex performed better on tests of executive function and memory,” compared with tests that only involved exercise, co-author Philip Tomporowski said.

This means that an activity that requires some sort of extra thought or skill while you’re doing it - for example, choreographed dancing, running through an obstacle course, mountain biking or even low-impact activities, such as juggling - can be beneficial not only in that they get you moving, but they also help improve your brain function. 

“People navigate a complex world in those activities, and it’s the navigation of your body as you move that we are hypothesizing, that’s influencing how people process information, problem solve and remember things,” he added. “The fundamental factor is the amount of mental engagement that’s in the task.” 

This may be an important factor to consider as we age. There’s mounting evidence that our brain slows as we get older, along with declines in muscle and bone health. But if there was a possibility that the activities we choose as we age could help stave off those effects, it may cause some to re-evaluate their exercise routine.

What exercise do you currently do? Does it have a mental component? Are you more likely to include exercise with a mental component now?

5 comments

Quit sugar and start getting more active, simple as. The average western diet comprises of 65% sugar in its many forms...processed food is full of it....read sweet ppison by daivd gillespi....and the many other books and research about what sugar does to us. If your not affected by it, then your one of us who only eat vegetables...

The issue is with added sugar, not natural sugar in its original packaging ie whole fruit and vegetables. 

I agree Ted but you are fighint a losing battle with some of the commentors here.

More fruit and veg, less everything else, and just move, no matter what you do any movement is important to keep muscles working. 

On May 16, the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium issued an opinion that will make it possible to imprison parents who enforce a vegan diet on their children.

The academy determined that veganism for kids is “unethical” because it can lead to health problems for growing children. The animal-product-free diet isn’t technically prohibited, and the ruling doesn’t necessarily equate veganism with child neglect. However, it will make it easier to prosecute parents who impose the strict diet and whose children have health problems.

 

Great news Aviator. Many doctors in Perth feel the same way. 

An idiot woman who is vegan in Perth took her neighbour to court because the smell of his barbequed steak was wafting over the fence. The magistrate threw her and the case out of court, now she's taking it to the Supreme court. Hope she gets Kyle Sandilands as the judge, hahaha

Hi ABE. Read about that news! I thought it was a hoax news or something at first, crazy how someone can come up of suing a neighbor because she can smell them barbecuing meat and she's vegan! Such a nuisance.. 

Fresh lawn clippings for me! Yum!

Is that supposed to be funny? In fact weeds have more nutrition than the average vegetable. Try some dandelion flowers.

Well I think it's funny Pedro. Musicveg is one of those pious sanctimonious vegetable only eaters who tries to inflict her beliefs on everybody else. And of course you can guarantee she can't reference one scientific article from a reputable journal proving that weeds like dandelion flowers have more "nutrition" that the average " vegetable. Define average, and what degree does she have in nutrition. She speaks in meaningless generalities which are unproven and of abosolutely no value. As one other commenter here stated in relation to her , perhaps she has been snorting too much coconut milk.

Yep I do a decent amount of physical exercise but I don’t go mad like a friend of mine. I play chess, my dad taught me when I was six and I taught all my kids. Chess is good, it exercises both sides of the brain and stimulates the growth of dendrites. No age barrier to playing chess

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learn to play a musical instrument, I play the violin which is also good for the brain.

I won’t challenge you to a game of chess ABE, I’m not that good, but how about scrabble? I love the violin, but lessons were unaffordable when I was young, so I took up the banjo. Still playing! Those ubiquitous experts say fishing calms the mind, helps you to relax and let go of stress. As an avid angler, I endorse that.

Saw this on pinterest recently. Less sugar is right! (although it's not easy to give up.. haha)

We are all chockablock full of poisons and I think it is a matter of luck as to how well one’s body is coping with their load. That copeability may come down to genetics. Those living in the 1950s copped huge doses of DDT which has been further passed down to children (and probably grandchildren) in breast milk. Then we all copped good doses of organochlorines - eg. dieldren and aldrin - used everywhere as pesticides well into the 1980s until they were banned. There are many more poisons we have been breathing in, drinking, eating, medicating ourselves with, and now we are told we are all breathing in micro or nano plastics. I know quite a few people who ate nutritiously, never smoked, drank little or not at all and were conscientious about exercise and yet they have died quite young from cancers, heart disease etc. Same goes for brain health. I know quite a few people, some highly intelligent, who have kept themselves mentally active and have succumbed to dementia. Seems to come down to luck but I suspect the way we cope with the poisons we are carrying may have something to do with early physical and/or mental decline.

5 comments