Use it or lose it?
Staying sharp doesn’t mean a new business wardrobe to impress your boss or the clients. It means keeping your brain stimulated every day. In an article from Scientific American, I recently read that staying physically and mentally active helps us stay sharp. There is a powerful link between physical activity and mental acuity. Apparently those who stay fit keep their cognition more robust as well. Interestingly, in a study published in 2001 neuropsychiatrist Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco, and her colleagues found that he most active women in the study had a 30 percent lower risk of cognitive decline. Not only that, but walking distance was related to cognition, but walking speed was not. It seems that even moderate levels of physical activity can serve to limit declines in cognition.
Here is the even bigger news: aerobic exercise may be the real key to overall brain fitness. Participants in the more active study groups had 52 percent lower odds of having dementia than the more sedentary group did. Cognitive enrichment as a result of exercise and mentally stimulating activities leads to individuals who are optimistic, agreeable, open to new experiences, conscientious, positively motivated and goal-directed. These individuals are also more likely to undergo successful aging, to take advantage of opportunities, to cope effectively with life circumstances, to effectively regulate emotional reactions to events, and to maintain a sense of well-being and life satisfaction in the face of challenge. With that in mind, I intend to go exercise right now! You?