If you’re in the business of promoting healthy, active aging, check this out.
The effect of fitness on memory
A study of 88 college students published March 2014 in Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience found that participants who performed better on a treadmill test scored higher on two types of memory tests than participants with lower fitness scores. The more fit participants scored better on long term memory tests and on something called “implicit memory”, which measures reaction times to moving targets (literally, “keeping your eye on the ball”!).
Other studies cite similar ties between cognitive performance and continued physical activity as a part of healthy aging. This one highlights the risks of inactive lifestyles as people grow older, and gives a name to the concept of sitting around “waiting for God”: Sedentary Death Syndrome.
And just to pile on, habitually eating a bag of Ho-Hos while you sit with the remote in your hand makes matters worse: This study suggests that obesity is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and that adipocytokines, associated with chronic inflammatory conditions caused by excess weight, may play a role.