So many women take care of their bodies but forget about their brains. “As we age, our brains shrink in volume, particularly the frontal cortex and hippocampus, areas involved in higher cognitive function and encoding new memories. Myelin (a conduit sheath around nerves) is also thought to shrink with age resulting in slow processing and reduced cognitive function,” Peterson Pierre, MD, board-certified dermatologist, and founder of the Pierre Skin Care Institute, explains.
The Rx: Dr. Pierre points out studies show that regular physical exercise can reverse the signs of aging in the brain with dancing having the most profound effect. “It’s also important to keep the mind stimulated,” he explains. “No matter your age or skill level, just a few minutes a day can help your mind stay sharp and can even help you improve in certain areas. You exercise your body regularly; don’t neglect your brain!”
We all know that cardiovascular training is good for the heart and helps to keep the weight off. Weight training is just as important–maybe even more so–according to Dr. Pierre. “Weight training has been shown to have great cardiovascular benefits and can actually reverse age-related muscle loss,” he explains. The more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate, which means you burn more calories at rest, a distinct advantage in weight control. It also is key to strengthening your bones, minimizing your chances of fractures and osteoporosis. It burns fat, exercises all your muscles, including your heart, lowers blood pressure, and improves blood flow to the brain.
The Rx: Make weight training a part of your exercise habits. “With all these benefits and more, there is no reason not to make it a regular part of your weekly schedule,” Dr. Pierre states.