“Mens sana in corpore sano”, the Latins used to say. In fact, there is a close link between how much you can keep the body in activity, with regular physical exercise and also through constant brain training, and psychological and cognitive well-being. In short, one must never lose the good habit of moving, getting information, hanging out with others.
Scientific studies have amply demonstrated that physical and mental activity helps to preserve thinking skills and to delay decay. But now research says this effect is not the same in men and women. For ladies, in fact, if physical activity increases, the speed of thought is also maintained faster, while in males this effect would be more nuanced. The gender difference emerges from a research that appeared in the journal Neurology coordinated by Judy Pa, of the University of California at San Diego.
How important is training
In addition to considering physical activitythe research examined the effects of mental activities, such as reading, going to class, or playing cards or games, on cognitive reserve in areas of speed of thought and memory. The reserve in practice is how much is maintained in terms of thinking ability even if the brain begins to walk the path of cerebral decay. Well, the more you train with regular movement, the higher is the reserve of speed of thought in women.
In short: if you make regular movement, the more you like it and the more you can practice it, the better your nervous system can stay and the better you fight the progress of the years that pass. The survey looked at 758 people with an average age of 76. Some had no thinking or memory problems, some had mild cognitive impairment, and some had dementia. Participants underwent brain scans and performed thought speed and memory tests.
People were also asked about their usual weekly physical activity. For mental activity, they were asked if they had participated in three types of activity in the past 13 months: reading magazines, newspapers or books; go to class; and play cards, games or bingo. Considering mental activity and physical activity, with possible “additions” on the movement front for those who are more trained, it must be said that each additional mental activity in which people participated corresponded to gains in terms of aging in their processing speed in their thinking skills, for both men and women. In short: prevention, which is done with physical activity and taking an interest in everyday life, is fundamental. Both for physical and psychological well-being.
Six rules to keep in mind
Prevention is key. We must pay attention to our behaviors also because for some factors, such as genetic predisposition or gender, obviously little can be done. Just think that women are generally more at risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’sregardless of their longer life expectancy.
The postmenopausal collapse of estrogen it is among the elements that are most suspected to help understand the situation, even if there is still a lot to understand in the prevention of cadres, Alzheimer’s in the head, which certainly affect a lot both on the patient and on those who assist him. In any case, it is essential to recognize the signs of deterioration in time and also focus on prevention: good habits can be of great help for all forms of cognitive impairment. Which means:
- Check blood pressure: it would be better not to exceed 130 millimeters of mercury from the age of 40.
- Pay attention to your hearing by protecting your ears from high noise levels and with regular checks.
- Try to limit exposure to air pollution and tobacco smoke, including in the family.
- Counteracting the abuse of alcohol, limiting oneself, for those who drink, to the classic glass of wine a day.
- Maintain an active life even in middle age by doing regular movement and fighting overweight.
- Try to always be informed and hang out with others, to keep the brain “awake”.
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Training mind and body helps the female brain (and beyond)
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