Diet, Exercise Aid Cognition

Research has discovered that walking or cycling three times a week can help increase your cognition. The new study looked at 160 adults with cardiovascular disease and had cognitive concerns like making decisions and remembering details. This find is great news and can help people in just six months. 

“By improving cardiovascular risk, you’re also improving neurocognitive functioning,” said lead study author James Blumenthal

The study divided participants into four groups: a control group that only received counseling, dieters, exercisers and people who did both. People who only dieted saw very slight improvements in cognition, exercisers slightly more and people who dieted and exercised shaved nine years off their cognitive age. People in the control group saw a decline in their cognitive skills in the same period. Sadly, over the six months, the researchers didn’t see a change in memory. However, with both the low number of participants and only a six month the short window of study, more data is needed for a fuller understanding. 

Blumenthal also said, “We showed you can get improvements in function that can reduce and certainly improve neurocognitive function, and possibly even postpone development of dementia late in life.” 

This study brings a lot of hope, not only for people who struggle with cognitive problems and for people who worry about their future cognition. So frequently, we think problems we’ve had in the past, or our older actions, will make it so that we cannot improve our health later down the road. Many of us who smoked, had a serious long-term health problem, were overweight or led sedentary lives worry about our ongoing health. Even if we have changed our situation, will it make a difference? Reading the results of this study reminds us that actions can be taken to mitigate past damage’s impact on our health tomorrow! That is excellent news for all of us as we look toward healthy lives.
February 11, 2019

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