Move more to improve your memory

We are pretty evangelical about the power of physical activity for preventing and treating the lifestyle diseases that plague modern society. And rightly so, there is so much scientific evidence in support of physical activity as a powerful medicine that we should all be taking.

A new study, published online in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, has added to the growing evidence-base finding that staying physically active could improve our quality of life by prolonging an independent lifestyle and delaying cognitive decline as we get older.

The researchers from Boston University School of Medicine compared 29 young adults (ages 18-31) and 31 older adults (ages 55-82). All of the participants wore an accelerometer to objectively measure their daily physical activity, as well as completing neuropsychological testing to assess their memory, planning and problem-solving abilities.

The results showed that, older adults were more physically active had better memory performance. The researchers believe that these findings show that the positive effects of physical activity extend to improved long-term memory, which is the type of memory most negatively impacted by aging and neurodegenerative dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease. Around 800,000 people in the UK are currently living with dementia and that number continues to increase. We can help stop this number growing simply by moving more each day.

Importantly, the authors point out that staying physically active can take a variety of forms from formal exercise programs to small changes, such as walking or taking the stairs. In other words, physical activity is multidimensional, we just need to find out what activities work for us. And that’s where KiActiv comes in, empowering you to optimise your physical activity using the activities that “count” for you.

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