Research Shows Being Old is Good!

New research finds that older women who are more physically fit have better cognitive function as physical activity causes better blood flow to the brain and as a result cognitive abilities improve.

The scientists found that compared to the inactive group of women in study, the active group of women had lower (10 per cent) resting and exercising arterial blood pressure, higher (5 per cent) vascular responses in the brain during submaximal exercise and the levels of carbon dioxide in the blood were elevated, and higher (10 per cent) cognitive function scores.

The message from the research is that basic fitness-something as simple as getting out for a walk every day is critical to staying mentally sharp and remaining healthy as we age.

The study compares two groups of women whose average age was 65 years old. From a random sample of 42 women living in Calgary, the study observed women who took part in regular aerobic activity and another group of women who were inactive. The team recorded and measured the women's cardiovascular health, resting brain blood flow and the reserve capacity of blood vessels in the brain as well as cognitive functions. The team included scientists, doctors and graduate students. The study was conducted in the Faculties of Medicine and Kinesiology at the University of Calgary.