Many recent studies have demonstrated the benefits of social, physical and intellectual activities for older adults. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Joe Verghese, assistant professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, concluded that participation in leisure activities is associated with a reduced risk of dementia. Crossword puzzles, dancing and other challenging activities appeared to protect against brain disease.
Another study found that people who exercise three or more times a week are less likely to develop dementia. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine adds to the evidence that staying active can help keep the mind sharp.
This conclusion was reinforced by a study by the Harvard School of Public Health demonstrating that walking four hours per week at a fast pace, jogging for 1.5 hours a week or hiking, swimming or playing tennis achieves maximum results.
According to Murali Doraiswamy, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, the brain grows new brain cells through concentration, good nutrition and social engagement.
New England Journal of Medicine
Annals of Internal Medicine
Journal of the American Medical Association