NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — For many people the biggest fears associated with aging are memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
As CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported there may be hope for young people who want to preserve their memory and thinking skills as they get older. That help comes in the form of exercise, according to a new study.
New research in the journal Neurology found that exercise may benefit the brain later in life.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota gave more than 2,700 people in their twenties a physical test on a treadmill. Twenty-five years later those same people were given memory and thinking tests. The results indicated that people who were in better shape in their twenties had more brain power when they were older.
“If you could go longer on a treadmill test where we are asking you to walk at a greater and greater inclines, you did better on the thinking skills test 25 years later,” Dr. David Jacobs explained.
Researchers said that the study was an important reminder for young adults to engage in plenty of cardiovascular exercise like running, swimming, and biking.
“The brain is particularly demanding of oxygen. So the things that are heart healthy or healthy for your blood vessels are probably also healthy for your brain,” Dr. Jacobs explained.
Regular exerciser Olga Prkhats told CBS 2’s Dr. Gomez, that working out gives her big boost.
“After exercising I feel so much energy in me. You feel pumped up, feel ready to go,” she said.
Prkhats is getting even more of a boost knowing that she is also keeping her mind in shape.
The study found that even when factors like smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol were considered, people who were more active in their twenties had better thinking and memory skills when they were older.
Other studies have found that regular exercise can prevent heart disease and cancer.
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