Exercising may help boost brain power in elderly men, revealed a latest study. The study also showed that the relationship between physical and brain fitness may vary in older adults by virtue of their sex. The study was published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology. The scientists examined the cardiorespiratory fitness of participants.
Cardiorespiratory fitness is defined as the measure of how much, and how well your oxygen is distributed to the muscles during exercise. The overall fitness level is also linked with changes in the brain's nerve-tissue, called gray matter, and better cognitive function, the scientists said.
Previous studied have found cardiorespiratory fitness to be related to how the brain functions during periods of rest. Nerve connectivity in the brain during rest changes with age. The studies found that these changes can negatively affect cognitive function.
However, "the neural basis of sex differences in the relationship between fitness and brain function in older adults has not been directly explored," wrote researchers from York University and McGill University in Canada.
The researchers studied one group of men and one of women, both with an average age of 67. The participants were made to self-report their daily physical activity level. The team recorded the participants' height, weight, age, sex and resting heart rate to determine their cardiorespiratory fitness.
The also examined imaging tests of the brain to record nerve function both within specific brain networks (local efficiency) and among all networks (global efficiency). The findings revealed that men had higher cardiorespiratory fitness levels than women, while women had higher local network efficiency and lower global network efficiency than the men.
Fitness levels were more strongly associated with improving this brain efficiency pattern for men than women. The researchers wrote,"Our findings that [cardiorespiratory fitness] is associated with brain function in a sex-dependent manner underscore the importance of considering sex as a factor when studying associations between exercise and brain health in older adulthood."
Foods For Improving Brain Power
Your diet is also closely associated with your brain power and cognitive ability. Several studies have claimed that a diet rich in healthy veggies, fatty fish, fruits and nuts helps enrich brain power, memory retention and keeping risk of Alzheimer's at bay. Most of these foods are packed with healthy antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that sharpens your brain.
Here are some of the foods that you must include to make sure your brain is agile and active:
5. Pumpkin seeds
(With inputs ANI)