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Week 5

Health Tip Of The Week...

Avoid Mental Decline with Aging
Even an unhurried 30 minute stroll a day may reduce the risk for blood flow related dementia among the elderly, according to a study published in the December, 2007 issue of the online journal Neurology. A researcher concluded:  "A lot of the things that have been proven to be good for the heart, now there's accumulating evidence that these work for the brain."

More Research Published on the Value of Exercise

A series of independent studies on the effects of exercise in older adults was published on January 25, 2010 in the Archives of Internal Medicine. 
These studies confirm that regular exercise not only helps maintain good health but may even prevent the onset of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, osteoarthritis and dementia.  And, since these are the types of conditions that cost the most to the already strapped sickness care delivery system, an ounce of prevention may be worth far more than a pound of cure.
Canadian researchers compared the effects of two types of exercise: resistance training, done once or twice weekly, in which participants worked out with free weights and weight machines and did squats and lunges, versus toning and balance exercises, which were done twice a week.  The object was to see if there were differences in both body and brain health.
Women who weight-trained improved their performance on cognitive tests of memory and learning as well as in executive functions such as decision-making and conflict resolution while the toning and balance group saw no improvement in these areas.
The muscle-strengthening exercise also helped the study participants boost their walking speed.  This is a commonly used indicator of overall health status in the elderly, as faster pace has been linked with lower mortality.
Improved brain function followed improved blood flow to the brain from exercise.

The Bottom Line…The Bottom Line…The Bottom Line…

Interestingly, even though multiple studies were presented in the January issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine cited above, the conclusion reached was, "Despite the positive evidence, however, not all researchers are ready to suggest that exercise is a sure-fire prescription against mental decline or chronic disease in healthy people."  And while that should be self evident, isn't it a shame that it is common practice to find that drugs are the answer to everything?

This issue of the HealthTip of the Week is brought to you as a public service by…
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