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An Active Body and Mind Aids Brain Health

Engaging in both physical and cognitive activity is beneficial in preventing cognitive impairment, as shown in a study of 2726 seniors. Physical activity (PA) was monitored using an accelerometer that they wore for a month. Cognitive activities (CA) included reading, playing board games, or an instrument. Participants were divided into 4 groups: low PA and CA; low PA and high CA; high PA and low CA; and high PA and CA.  The high-level activity group had the lowest prevalence of cognitive impairment, with modest improvements in both CA and PA. These data suggest performing both physical and cognitive exercises is the most favorable, but if one is unable to increase one’s physical movements, an increase in mind stimulation is still beneficial.
Kurita S, et al. Association of physical and/or cognitive activity with cognitive impairment in older adults. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2020;20:31-35. doi:10.1111/ggi.13814.