Socialization just as Important as Exercise

There’s little doubt that regular physical activity can go a long way in the prevention and reversal of certain diseases.  Studies show that people who engage in regular exercise have fewer instances of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.  Now, studies are linking regular exercise to a decrease in cognitive decline as you age.  There’s a catch, though.

Studies have recently shown that regular physical activity can help to stave off dementia.  However, a study of Japanese sports clubs proved that for the greatest benefit, you need social interaction while exercising.  Having that camaraderie while you sweat beats exercising alone in more ways than just helping in the fight against cognitive decline.

The study, which followed more than 11,000 Japanese adults over the age of 64 divided those adults into one of four groups:

  • Those who worked out at sports clubs
  • Those who went to sports clubs to socialize, but not work out
  • Those who worked out alone
  • Those who stayed at home and didn’t work out at all

As far as the researchers could tell, finding out if there was a benefit to working out with others had yet to be studied.

Four years after the study commenced, the results were clear.  The first group showed the least amount of cognitive and physical decline.  However, the second group fared almost as well in the study.

This doesn’t mean that socialization alone is the way to go.  The benefits of exercise in general are too large to ignore.

One of the authors of the study, Ichiro Kawachi, said that the loss of social interaction as people age can contribute just as much to cognitive decline as lack of exercise can.

So, find a group activity that you enjoy.  You can try tennis or tai chi.  Just as long as it includes others in your physical activity.  Working out in a group with others sharing your pain – or your exhilaration – is better than working out alone.

If you need a personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals, contact Frank Tortorici.  By making an appointment, Frank can help you meet all of your exercise and fitness goals.  Contact him today.


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