Physical exercise in midlife linked to improved brain health later in life

As part of recent results published in Neurology, an American research group uncovered that a fitness routine in midlife could improve brain health later in life.

More than 1,600 participants contributed by reporting on how much exercise they had at the initial phase of the study, then close to two decades later.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were conducted later in life to identify any indication of abnormalities in brain health, particularly cerebrovascular lesions and brain shrinkage.

The study demonstrated that higher levels of physical activity in midlife resulted in improved brain health later in adulthood.

“This research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting exercise as an important way we can look after our brain health. Although the people in the study self-reported their own level of exercise, which could make it less accurate, high levels of mid-life physical activity were linked with fewer signs of brain damage,” said Sara Imarisio, the head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“The best current evidence suggests that as well as staying physically and mentally active, eating a healthy balanced diet, not smoking, drinking only within the recommended limits and keeping weight, cholesterol and blood pressure in check are all good ways to support a healthy brain as we age.”

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