December 24, 2019
Excess belly fat is already associated with nasty stuff such as insulin resistance, heart disease and some types of cancer, and now a recent study suggests that it may even affect people’s ability to think straight.
Keep in mind that a person can have plenty of excess belly fat without being considered obese.
An example of this would be the people commonly referred to as “skinny fat,” who don’t really look overweight or obese with clothes on but who have fat where they should have muscle.
There are plenty of reasons to strive for a healthy and fit body in old age, but just in case you needed one more, look no further than a recent study conducted at Iowa State University. Less muscle and excess body weight in older adults, specifically extra belly fat, may negatively influence one’s ability to think and react to new situations on the fly, technically referred to as “fluid intelligence.”
According to the research team, this deterioration in thinking capacity is caused by extra work the body’s immune system must put in for individuals with a particularly high BMI (body mass index). The study’s authors believe their findings may prove invaluable in the development of new treatments for maintaining and protecting mental flexibility among older adults dealing with obesity, an inactive lifestyle, or age-related muscle loss.
They discovered that adults in their 40s and 50s with high levels of mid-section fat exhibited increasingly worse fluid intelligence as years passed. However, muscle mass actually appeared to protect cognitive abilities and foster healthy fluid intelligence in old age. Even after the researchers accounted for other outside factors, such as socioeconomic status, age, and education level, the findings remained consistent.
“Chronological age doesn’t seem to be a factor in fluid intelligence decreasing over time,” comments study leader and assistant professor of food science and human nutrition Auriel Willette in a release. “It appears to be biological age, which here is the amount of fat and muscle.”
Mr. Anglin has been writing about the importance of hormones and working out for years now. Following his dietary advice, you’ll have a much easier time building and holding on to muscle mass, and getting and staying lean.
It’s very common, almost unavoidable, for people to lose some muscle and put on extra weight as they hit middle-age and enter their elderly years. That’s why, the research team say, it is important for middle-aged adults to stick to a workout regimen that promotes lean muscle growth. This is especially true for women, who naturally start out with less muscle mass to begin with than men.
It’s especially irrelevant for women, because no one needs or benefits from women doing any thinking anyways.
Regarding the onset of Alzheimer’s, the study’s authors say they are unsure at this point if extra weight increases one’s odds of developing the degenerative brain disorder.
“Further studies would be needed to see if people with less muscle mass and more fat mass are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, and what the role of the immune system is,” adds study author and PhD student Brandon Klinedinst.
“If you eat alright and do at least brisk walking some of the time, it might help you with mentally staying quick on your feet,” professor Willette concludes.
Walking is fun and healthy but won’t really help you put on muscle mass or maintain what you already possess. If you are really overweight, it is a great starting point to physical activity and moving your body, but you should move past that starting point after you’ve burned enough fat.
Any amount of physical activity is better than none. If you think that you don’t have enough time to exercise, adjust your expectations about the time needed to work out.
An ugly body signals an ugly mind, and a beautiful body signals a beautiful mind.
Mind and body go hand in hand.
If you want to keep one healthy, you have to keep both healthy.