New study shows even simple activities delay or fend off age-related cognitive diseases in seniors

You don't need to play chess every day to fend off dementia - though it helps.

A new study from Rush University Medical Center found that seniors (mean age of 81 in this study) who engage in mentally stimulating activities had a higher "structural integrity" in their brains. These activities including things as simple as attending a play, reading a newspaper, writing letters or visiting a library.  

But it's not just mental activities. A study from the University of California Los Angeles found that seniors who stayed very physically active (dancing, cycling, gardening, recreational sports) had more gray matter in the brain (which helps keep the brain functioning well).

Another study from the University of British Columbia found that strength training improved cognitive function in seniors.

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