The tradition of “sound mind, sound body” might be more accurately phrased “sound body, sound mind,” based on a recent study by the University of Miami and Columbia University.
“Our results suggest that moderate to intense exercise may help older people delay aging in the brain,” said the study’s author, Dr. Clinton B. Wright, associate professor of neurology at the UM Miller School of Medicine.
The decade-long study, published in a recent online issue of Neurology, looked at more than 1,200 people at first and asked them about their physical activity in the two weeks leading up to the interview. Five years later, 876 members of that group returned and were given memory and thinking tests and an MRI. Five years later those that returned took the tests again.
The finding: The memory and thinking ability of those who did more physical exercise — runners, bicyclists or swimmers compared with walkers or gardeners — deteriorated at a much slower rate than their counterparts.