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Expanding the Shrinking Brain

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What?s the best way to keep your brain healthy?

  1. ????????????????? Eating veggies?
  2. ????????????????? Working out at the gym?
  3. ????????????????? Playing chess?

Most of us would probably choose ?C?.? This would be the incorrect answer, because according to a new study, mentally and socially stimulating activities alone will not?prevent brain shrinkage. The shrinkage of this organ is often?the?result of the?aging process, and is often?associated with memory and?cognitive disorders.??Regular physical exercise appears to be the most effective in?protecting the brain from shrinkage; in other words, if you want to maximize your ability to play chess, pick a match across town and walk?or jog to it.

The results of a?brain scan study conducted?on?600 people between the ages 70 and 73, revealed that there is?a direct correlation between the increase of?physical exercise?and the decrease of?brain shrinkage.

According to the study, people in their seventies who?walked several times a week for exercise,?showed less brain shrinkage and other signs of brain aging than those who were less physically active.? Surprisingly, the study showed no real benefit to brain size and function when merely participating in mentally and socially stimulating activities. The subjects who ate?vegetables, worked out?regularly and played?chess,?showed? better brain circuitry connections and less brain shrinkage compared with the less active subjects.?? These results were not affected by the participants?IQ or social?status.

As of?yet, there?s no established biological reason for why exercise?gives the brain an advantage.?? It?is possible?that a healthy brain just makes it easier for seniors?to exercise.

Nevertheless, physical exercise and non-physical leisure and social pursuits have?benefits. Exercise helps prevent disease, and mental stimulation combats depression and fatigue; so there?s no harm in pursuing both at any age.? A Professional Home Care Nurse can provide companionship and?assistance with physical and?mentally stimulating activities? as part of their caregiving duties.

 

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