Exercise may improve memory in later years
Working out is a good way to maintain a healthy lifestyle at any age, and now new research suggests that physical activity as a young adult can be linked to cognitive ability decades later.
“Understanding this relationship in early adulthood may be particularly important because global data suggests that levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behavior are increasing,” said Tina Hoang, researcher at Northern California Institute of Research and Education – San Francisco, in a news release.
The study analyzed physical activity levels and television viewing patterns of 3,200 adults, between the ages of 18 and 30 years old during a 25-year timespan. Thinking and memory tests were conducted to help measure the participant’s mental function.
Researchers found that those with long-term low physical activity and those with long-term high television viewing had significantly lower test scores than those who were more active and watched less television.
“Our findings demonstrate that even early-and mid-adulthood may be critical periods for promotion of physical activity for healthy cognitive aging,” Hoang says. “Sedentary behaviors, like TV viewing, could be especially relevant for future generations of adults due to the growing use of screen-based technologies.”
Medical experts see several benefits to adapting a healthy lifestyle throughout your life.
“Practicing a healthy lifestyle is something that is encouraged for all ages,” says Dr. Emelie Ilarde, a primary care physician with Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. “It is important to stay active for a multitude of reasons. Exercise helps control weight and blood pressure, reduces the risk for chronic conditions and boosts energy levels.”
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.