While performing Kettlebell swings or some medicine ball throws, I get the question, “What does that exercise work?” The answer is “My brain.” I quickly explain how optimal training activates your nervous system and builds the neurons and synapses necessary for brain health. A research query of great interest is the impact exercise has on the aging brain. The New York Times, December 31, 2016 article by Dr. Lisa Felman Barrett, *How to Become a ‘Superager’, presents some interesting research.
The article discusses the research results that studied functional MRI scans of the brains of superagers. Superagers are elderly individuals that score well on tests of memory, task attentiveness, and planning. These MRI evaluations looked at both the anatomical and activity differences in various locations of the brains of these cognitively adept older adults. The researchers and Dr. Feldman Barret give us some recommendations on lifestyle challenges that produce a superager brain. It involves some consistent involvement in strenuous exercise activity and ongoing intellectually challenging tasks.
*New York Times, December 31, 2016, Dr. Lisa Felman Barrett, How to Become a ‘Superager’. See the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/31/opinion/sunday/how-to-become-a-superager.html?_r=0
Michael S. O’Hara, PT, OCS, CSCS