You’re worried about ageing well.
If you want to retain your mental acuity for longer, it’s a matter of exercising, according to a study published in PLOS One.
Researchers recruited eighty-eight healthy but not very fit participants, aged sixty to seventy-eight. They all had to wear accelerometers and were subject to brain imaging, which is significant, because it’s the first study (to the researchers knowledge) that uses objective measure of both physical activity and “multiple measures of brain structure”.
The researchers measured the participants activity over a week, using the accelerometers to accurately measure physical engagement. The participants also submitted to two types of brain imaging: tensor imaging, which looked at structural integrity of the tissue, and another type that examined brain lesions.
The older adults who regularly practiced moderate to vigorous exercise showed fewer brain lesions than their sedentary counterparts. They also had greater structural integrity in the part of the brain that plays a key role in memory, language, and processing auditory and visual information.
You’re probably not there yet, but the time to get active is now. After all, you’re not suddenly going to start hitting the gym once you retire, right?