Last week the United States Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, held a lecture at the annual meeting of the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) about his Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities.
In his initiative to improve the health of the American people he stated that he aimed to walk the talk by implementing the best science for the benefit of the society. He wants to help people of all ages protect and improve their health and reduce risk of obesity and disease through regular physical activity and a healthy diet.
Depression is common and estimates suggest that in a family of four, one of the family members will likely suffer from mental health problems. Depression is even 3 times more common in patients after a heart attack than in the general population. Depression after a heart attack is bad not only because of the accompanying emotional distress, it also increases the risk of having another heart attack or premature death.
The biological level ageing results from the impact of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. But these changes are neither linear nor consistent, and they are only loosely associated with a person’s age in years. There is no ‘typical’ older person and some 80 year-olds have physical and mental capacities similar to many 20 year-olds.
However, as we grow older our bodies are changing. We may grow a little rounder around the waistline, or wake in the night, or feel a little stiffer in the morning. Most of us have to start to use glasses, and slowly our hear turns grey. Some even loose it. As we grow older increased forgetfulness that not is impairing our daily life is considered to be a part of the normal aging process. Generally, information processing also slows as we grow older, and older people have more trouble multitasking. However, research find that problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes, also called cognitive impairment may increase the risk of later progressing to dementia. Still, some people with mild cognitive impairment never get worse, and a few eventually get better.
Most people know that exercise is good for their physical health, but not everyone knows that it also has beneficial effects for cognitive functions and mental health. Cognitive performance decreases with old age, and a growing elderly population increases the amount of people that will get diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. In addition, mood related disorders are a major worldwide problem. Exercise can improve the lives of people who are at the risk of developing these brain-associated disorders.
Exercise can increase your memory
A study performed on elderly people showed that increased physical activity resulted in an enhanced memory performance. It did not matter if the increased activity came from organized training sessions or from routines embedded into the daily life such as walking to the supermarket, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and generally move around more in the house. One of the symptoms of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s is impaired memory, and regular aerobic exercise is therefore recommended to prevent or delay the onset of these diseases.
Getting old itself is associated with numerous shortcomings, or are there advantages of being older?
The notion of prime time of life has been changing with the changing era. Some say that life begins at 40, or 60 is the new 50. Is there a way to figure out what is the best age to be? I try to summarize the writings of already published BBC article on this topic, published on 26th May 2015.
When we talk about physical fitness, mid 20s seems to be the best age for sprint running, shot put, javelin or other associated sports activities with a sharp decline after hitting 30s. Professional footballers have their prime time in sports in early 20 years of their life.
We are very proud of her achievements, and wish her good luck with her future studies. She is currently working on new studies on fitness and mental health together with professor Steven Blair and associated professor Mei Sui at The Universityof South Carolina.
American College of Sports Medicine’s 62nd Annual Meeting, 6th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine® and World Congress on the Basic Science of Exercise Fatigue is held May 26-30, 2015 San Diego, California. This is the most comprehensive sports medicine and exercise science conference in the world with more than 6000 participants.
The price allows Dr. Ernstsen to work with, and learn from, the world-leading expert in “Exercise Epidemiology” Professor Steven Blair at Departments of Exercise Science and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA, for 3 months. Currently she lives in South Carolina and have already started her work with Professor Blair and his research group where the aim is to learn new methodological approaches within epidemiological and clinical research on the association between physical fitness, mental health and cognitive function.
On Friday May 29, she will be recognized and receive the price at the ACSM Awards Banquet. K.G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine is proud of Ernstsen´s achievement, wish her all the best of luck working at University of South Carolina, and look forward to get her back home with new knowledge that will benefit our research group.
The mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells, where nutrients from food is converted to ATP: energy that is usable by the body. Normally, we associate better mitochondrial function with athletes: being able to run, swim or bike fast over long distances requires a lot of energy.