Being lazy might shrink your brain

In the modern world, people are getting lazier and lazier. We work from behind the computer and lie on the couch watching television while eating chips. We all know that there are certain risks associated with this lifestyle, and since those risks are on every medical level, this article involves all physicians.

The benefits of fitness are well known. An active lifestyle can prevent heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and stroke. Additionally, fitness keeps cholesterol levels down, improves the quality of sleep and helps prevent certain types of cancer. A new study adds further evidence of yet another health benefit of fitness, namely, maintaining brain size in older age.

Researchers found a direct correlation between poor fitness and lower brain volume decades later, which indicates accelerated brain aging. People with poorer physical fitness had smaller brains 20 years later. The mechanism behind this is that exercise increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain and improves neuroplasticity over the short term. Over the course of a lifetime, these mechanisms may have an impact on brain aging and prevent cognitive decline in older age. It is likely, however, that many other lifestyle factors, and not just fitness, have an effect on brain aging. But then again, it’s never too late for your brain to benefit from exercise!

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