The number of older adults engaging in vigorous activity is on the rise and will likely continue as the baby boomer generation leads the trend. The is evident by the four-fold increase in participants at the National Senior Games Association since its founding in 1987. As I found in this inspiring article by Rebecca Clay in the most recent issue of Monitor on Psychology about Age-Defying Athletes.
A recent study published in the 2016 edition of Neurology looked at 900 diverse older adults over five year span. The research concluded that in the 10 percent of people engaged in moderate to vigorous activity showed slower declines in cognitive functioning than the 90 percent of participants who had reported only light activity—such as walking or yoga—or no physical activity at all. This a a new area of research that scientistsbelieve needs more research, yet the initial initial finding are very encouraging.
In addition to the healthy effect on our grey matter, being active also means that people are gaining all the social benefits of being active as well. This is yet another encouraging reminder that we are only as old as we feel.