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 Running Protects Mental Functioning Among Elderly
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Sat Jan 01, 2005 3:41 pm
If you ever needed another reason to stick with running, new evidence suggests that exercise can help keep your brain healthy as well as your body. A new study published in the journal Neurology examined exercise habits of people over 70, and found intriguing links between physical and mental health. Over the study's 10 year period, men who decreased their rate of physical activity the most also experienced the greatest declines in mental functioning as measured by standardized testing. Runners already knew their favorite sport was a fountain of youth; now they've got data to back it up.

According to the study's author, "Stimulating the elderly to be physically active with at least a medium-low intensity or becoming even more physically active (in duration or intensity) could be important for keeping their brains fit." Exercise helps keeps the heart and arteries in good condition, ensuring a healthy supply of blood to the brain and reducing the risk of stroke. Other similar studies have shown that exercise may even help promote the growth of new brain cells.

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