Exercising builds your brain - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Exercising builds your brain

January 17, 2005

Valdosta - Sylvia Jones and her husband Sammy start most every morning the same. "Every day at 8:00, that's what we start our day doing is exercising," said Jones.

They started the routine for Sammy's health.  "He was diagnosed about four months ago with diabetes," said Jones.

But working out also helps their minds. "When you come up here, you get relaxed, you start talking and forget about all the worries and cares of the day, and you concentrate on what you're doing," said Jones.

And now a new health study backs that up. Researchers found that senior citizens who exercised three or more times a week had a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of developing alzheimer's or dementia.

Some researchers think that exercise might reduce levels of amyloid in the brain, a protein that clogs the brain in Alzheimer's patients.

"I would think your mind is working all the time and not at rest, and if you stay home and just sit, then you're not out with people, keeping your mind working," said Mary Townsend.  

Townsend retired a few months ago and joined the senior citizens center to stay active. She's taking line dancing classes, a real workout for the brain. "With each dance we learn, you have to really get your mind and your feet going at the same time," said Townsend.

"As long as your mind is alert and your feet are alert, you're better at driving, walking, shopping, and you're more alert with what's going on around you," said Gayle Crosby.

So for as long as they're able, they'll keep up this routine, to keep their body and mind healthy. 

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