Look & Think Younger Through Exercise

older_man_walkingDementia is an important public health problem, particularly in light of the overall aging of the American population.  One out of eight persons over 65 have dementia in this country.

Dementia negatively effects a person’s quality-of-life and functional status, and its treatment costs more than $200 billion per year.  Especially with a growing elderly population in the year to come, that cost is expected to increase along with it, which is why identifying preventable causes of dementia is critical.

The world famous Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas, a preventive medicine clinic since 1970, recently performed a study concerning lifestyle changes and their effects on preventing or delaying the onset of dementia. The study assessed nearly 20,000 non-Elderly adults for a median of 25 years resulting in 125,700 person years of follow-up.

Previous studies in this area evaluated fewer patients and follow-up years, and were consequently deemed inconclusive.  Such studies also monitored self-reported behavior alone, whereas the Cooper Clinic study also objectively measured the fitness levels of each participant.

After adjusting for multiple variables, it appeared that those with higher midlife fitness levels had a lower risk of developing dementia later in life.  Several possible mechanisms best explain and support this correlation.

old_people_exercisingPeople who regularly exercise have been shown to have lower risk of diabetes and hypertension, which are known risk factors for dementia.  Also, physical activity has been proven to increase blood flow to the brain and preserving brain volume.

So now you have an additional reason for putting on those running shoes and going to the gym.  Additionally, getting back to the subject of skin care, exercise and sweating are naturally very good for your skin.  So with exercise, you will look younger and think younger for longer.

About Dr. John Burke

John Burke M.D. has practiced medicine for over 25 years, and is the founding partner of MidMaine Internal Medicine. He established Maine Laser Skin Care in 2004 after devoting years to learning the latest in laser and dermatologic technology. Dr. Burke has treated patients from all over the United States. He is one of Maine's busiest practitioners in laser treatments, and in the use of Botox for upper facial lines and excessive sweating.
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