Physical Fitness and Your Brain

by Anthony Hamilton, Fitness Trainer | Ageless Fitness - 2020, Fall/Winter

Does staying physically fit keep our brain in shape?  Or, does having a fit brain promote physical function?  

In the past, research has been focused on the positive relationship of physical activity contributing to enhanced cognitive function, assuming that increased physical activity in older adults will lead to a healthier brain. A University of Geneva research team in Switzerland did a long term study on which comes first: More physical activity or a healthier mental state. The research team evaluated data from over 105,000 adults, ages 50–90, over a 12-year period.

Research Results

The result? People with healthier brains are more likely to be physically active.  Therefore, cognitive capacities influence physical activity levels, more than vice versa.  Author Boris Cheval, PhD, a sports psychologist researcher at University of Geneva, stated, “This study backs up our theory that the brain has to make a real effort to get out of a sedentary lifestyle and that by working on cognitive capacities, physical activity will follow.” Another way to think about the data is that if people maintain physical activity over a lifetime, they will simultaneously be supporting healthy cognitive resources. Look for this study in Health Psychology (2020; 39 [6], 518–28).

At Ageless Fitness our clients go through cognitive testing and drills to enhance brain function.  The result?  Better movement and overall physical function.  For strategies on how to improve your cognitive function, check out our website www.agelesswa.com.  

Anthony Hamilton

Website: Ageless Fitness

Ageless Fitness is a personal training program designed with your long-term health and longevity goals in mind. You don’t want to just grow old gracefully, you want to live life to the fullest!

Ageless Fitness trains you to maximize your functional strength, power, balance and energy. Doing so allows you to excel in all the activities that you love in life, for as long as possible.

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