Between the ages of 30 and 70, strength and muscle mass decline gradually by 40% to 50%, depending on each case. Sport and mostly weight training, can increase life expectancy, help ageing well and strengthen brain capacities.
These results were revealed by an American study: Resistance Training and White Matter Lesion Progression in Older Women. The experiment was conducted on 155 women aged 65 to 75 years old and helped creating a link between weight training and a slower development of brain injuries. Patients were divided in three groups and monitored for a year.
The first group was required to do weight training once a week, the second group, twice a week, and the last one was required to do stretching and balance exercises. At the end of the study, brain scans revealed that women belonging to the last group showed the highest number of brain injuries. Weight training had slowed down the development of brain injuries on those belonging to the other two groups.
Sport as a Remedy
A Japanese study – The association between aerobic fitness and cognitive function in older men mediated by frontal lateralization – showed the direct link between brain activity, cognitive functions and a good physical condition. Men who engage in regular physical activity were more successful at cognitive tests than those who were not physically active.
Some cities like Strasbourg in France have tried the so-called sport prescriptions. General Practioners could prescribe a sporting activity to their patients, as a way of prevention. Health insurance and unions funded subscriptions to some public pools, gyms or clubs. Beyond health itself, sports also allow fighting against sedentary lifestyles and isolation.
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