If you’re looking for some incentive to make good on a New Year’s resolution to exercise more, some new Kansas University research may fill the bill.
With funding from the National Institute on Aging, researchers at KU Medical Center and KU’s Lawrence campus are studying ways to prevent the debilitating loss of cognitive function associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Five years into the study, researchers are finding that the best way to keep your mind fit is to work your body. Aerobic exercise, the researchers say, has the most significant impact on maintaining cognitive function.
“Exercise seems to be better than any crossword puzzle or other mental activity by two to three times at least,” said David K. Johnson, a KU research scientist.
So the best thing you can do for your brain is to get your body moving. Researchers still are working to determine how much and what kind of exercise is optimum for seniors, but it seems a safe bet that a daily walk couldn’t hurt.
So, it’s time to get moving. Walk around the block, take some laps around a big retail store or get on a treadmill at one of the city’s recreation centers. Your mind and your body both will thank you.