Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Physical Activity Good For The Body And Mind

“In a cross-sectional study on health and aging, older women who were more active during the day did better on tests of their cognitive function. ‘This was especially true for tests that involved something called executive function, which is basically your ability to plan and execute daily tasks,’ Dr. Deborah E. Barnes, who led the study, told Reuters Health. ‘No matter how old you are, it is important to stay active.’ The study involved 2,736 elderly women without evidence of dementia. After removing the influence of age, race, and education, Barnes of the University of California at San Francisco and colleagues found that women who were the most active, compared with those who were the least active, posted better average scores on several standard cognitive tests and were less likely to be cognitively impaired. According to Barnes, one limitation of this study is that all of the information was collected at a single point in time. ‘Therefore, based on this study alone, we don't really know whether more activity leads to better cognitive function, or whether better cognitive function leads to more activity,’ she said. ‘But when you look at all of the studies together, you start to see a pretty compelling picture suggesting that being active is good for your brain as well as your body,’ she added.”

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