A recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Training a More Powerful Brain by Gretchen Reynolds, highlighted the importance of staying active no matter our age and how it shapes our thinking. Mark Gluck, a professor of neuroscience at Rutgers, along with his colleagues published a new study in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory which delves into how the core of our memory center, the hippocampus located in the medial temporal lobe, changes as people begin to work-out regularly. It raises awareness between exercise and our ability to think and remember. As we get older, physical activity can decrease the loss of brain volume and prevent memory loss.
The research study population stemmed from African American men and women in their 60s that live a sedentary life. They all shared similar baseline memory and fitness functions. A group of volunteers participated in an hour long aerobic dance class twice a week. The rest of the volunteers chose to be the sedentary control group. After 20 weeks, brain scans of the exercise group showed an increase in synchronized activity in their medial temporal lobe indicating a youthful flexibility of the brain. As a result, the exercisers were able to learn and retain information better than before.
The staff at OrthoRehab Specialists is highly aware of the three components crucial to a satisfying retirement: function, safety and cognition. By taking into consideration any existing musculo-skeletal issues, the physical therapist can create an exercise program to meet one’s individual needs which will bolster all three of these important factors. As well, physical therapists work with personal trainers in assessing existing musculo-skeletal impairment, ensuring that you will not be side-lined with injury in your ongoing quest to improve physical and mental function.
Doctors of Physical Therapy help to restore mobility, manage pain, improve chronic conditions, and prevent injury. With a physical therapist periodically guiding one’s exercise progression, it is a great way to ensure that an active senior will fortify these three key aspects of a satisfying retirement. By helping people overcome functional/physical barriers in a safe and efficient manner, it allows them to maintain a powerful mind and body throughout all ages.