Read on if you want to keep your brain young and healthy. A team of researchers from King’s College London believe they have come up with a possible answer… make sure you have strong legs.
The decade long study of older women found that leg power is a good indicator of whether or not an individual is getting enough exercise to maintain a healthy mind: exercise releases chemicals that may boost ageing brains. The team tracked the health of 150 pairs of female twins between the ages of 43 and 73. At the start of the study the twins’ leg power was measured for both speed and power using a piece of modified gym equipment while the brain’s memory and processing skills were gauged using computers. The same tests were undertaken at the end of the study. On the whole it was found that the brain of the twin with superior leg power at the beginning of the study suffered less age related changes over the 10 year period. Lead researcher Dr Claire Steves said “When it came to cognitive ageing, leg strength was the strongest factor that had an impact in our study. Other factors such as heart health were also important, but the link with leg strength remained even after we accounted for these. We think leg strength is a marker of the kind of physical activity that is good for your brain.” A big thanks to Dr Steves and the team for doing all that leg work.