Want a Healthy Brain? Stay Physically Active.

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

There are no guarantees, but this is our current best bet.  The evidence linking physical fitness to good cognitive health in later life continues to roll in.

At the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in July, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco presented data showing the high correlation between physical fitness and brain health.  Their research on "modifiable risk factors", or lifestyle changes we are all free to make, showed that regular activity was the most likely to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Importantly, several of the other risk factors that are highly correlated with cognitive decline, may also be reduced through physical activity.  Hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and even depression, all of which confer higher risk of cognitive decline, can be managed to some degree through regular physical exercise.

We have known for some time that staying active is good for our hearts and it has always made sense that a regular supply of oxygen-rich blood is probably good for our brains.  This latest research is more evidence that it is likely to be true.

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