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To Your Health Newsletter

May, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 10)
Elderly Fitness: Good for the Brain

By Editorial Staff

Staying fit during your golden years doesn't just have physical benefits, such as a reduced risk of suffering a debilitating fall. An increasing body of evidence links fitness with a healthy brain as we age. The latest evidence: a study published in Scientific Reports that found elderly men and women with higher aerobic fitness levels (based on cycling tests) performed better in word challenges designed to assess their ability to "find the words" to express themselves.

According to the researchers, "Word finding difficulties often surface as tip-of-the-tongue experiences. People in a tip-of-the-tongue state have a strong conviction that they know a word, but are unable to produce it. The frequency of tip-of-the-tongue states increases with age4 and indeed tip-of-the-tongue states are documented to be among the most frequent cognitive failures in healthy older adults." In their study, fit elderly adults had less "tip of the tongue" experiences when tested compared to less-fit elderly adults.

Since difficulty finding the right words to express oneself is a common findings in elderly adults, it's encouraging to know something as simple as aerobic exercise can help. It's also another tip of the cap to the value of physical fitness in preserving overall cognitive function with age. Talk to your doctor to learn more.