Exercise helps preserve mental acuity

A study of older men and women--ages 70-79--found a rather striking correlation between the lack of physical activity and mental decline:

. . . a sedentary lifestyle may hasten cognitive decline. . . . 
Conversely, simple activity -- walking 20 to 30 minutes daily -- appears to be protective, according to Deborah E. Barnes, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco . . .

"What we have learned from this trial is that physical activity is important for older individuals," said William Thies, PhD, chief medical officer for the Alzheimer's Association, who commented on Dr. Barnes' study. "It doesn't mean you have to go to the gym and work out -- unless you want to do that. It just means getting more activity --as simple as walking to your neighborhood restaurant instead of driving there."

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