An unhealthy lifestyle can not only lead to chronic illness like obesity and heart disease, but also cause wear and tear on your brain.
Lack of mobility causes inflammation, which leads to a number of serious chronic illnesses including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Researchers are now finding that inactivity can also lead to a faster decline in thinking and memory.
“We found that people in their middle adulthood who had higher levels of inflammatory markers in their blood tended to decline over the next 20 years at a quicker rate, especially on measures of memory,” Walker said.
To protect your brain functions, it is important to maintain a heart healthy diet, exercise and get plenty of sleep.
When someone gets sick, even a small cold, you see symptoms of systemic inflammation. This inflammation can cause lack of motivation, change in appetite and even changes in mood, which are all changes in brain function.
Researchers believe that long-term inflammation could have lasting effects on brain function.
The study conducted measures inflammation as it correlates with brain function over time. Those with the highest rate of inflammation were more likely to lose brain function at the end of two decades (that were measured for the study).
“This could be happening either because chronic inflammation is directly harming neurons, or because it is exacerbating other brain conditions that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, Walker said. “
Although there could be a plethora of causes for inflammation, scientists believe the best way to combat this and protect your brain would be to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes having healthy eating habits, incorporating exercise and sleeping the recommended hours per night.
To learn more: How Inactivity and Junk Food Can Harm Your Brain – Health Day
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