A new study suggests that physical activity in teenage may be most beneficial for women.
About 9,395 women 65 years and older, participated in the study. They were asked whether they had been active during their teenage years and at ages 30, 50 and later.
Their cognitive function was also assessed. Those who had been active regularly at any age were at lower risk for impairment in later life, but the greatest benefit was for those who had been active in their teens.
Only 8.5 per cent of those active during adolescence were cognitively impaired later on, compared with 16.7 per cent of those who had been inactive. Physical activity during the teenage years was associated with a 35 per cent lower risk for cognitive impairment later in life.
“People often forget that physical activity is actually controlled by the brain,” said Laura E. Middleton, the study’s lead author. “A large portion of the brain is dedicated towards coordinating and controlling movement.”