Neurological aging

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While growing old is inevitable, why not do everything possible to ensure healthy aging, both physically and cognitively? Aging can lead to a gradual cognitive decline in attention, memory, and the ability to manipulate information and retain very detailed information and retrieve it at the right time. For some, neurological aging is more significant, and deficits interfere with everyday life. These deficits are referred to as major cognitive impairment or dementia, which is a major concern for many of us, especially in countries like Canada, where life expectancy is very high, and people are more likely to experience these problems.

The harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle

Surprisingly, one of the factors that have a major impact on neurological aging is a sedentary lifestyle. Indeed, sedentary people experience a faster cognitive decline and are more likely to develop dementia. How do you know if you are a sedentary person? If none of the statements1 below apply to your lifestyle, you are considered a sedentary person:

  • In your leisure time or when travelling, you walk at a good intensity for at least half an hour most days of the week (> 5 days).
  • You do one hour of sports or fitness activity at least three times a week.
  • Your work requires frequent travel over long distances, or you lift heavy loads regularly during the day, every day.

It is never too late to start being physically active. However, to maintain the physical and psychological health benefits, the key is to maintain this active lifestyle on a daily basis.


There are many ways to maintain optimal brain function for as long as possible:

  • Stimulate your cognition as much as possible: read, make decisions regularly, play new games that challenge your brain, etc.
  • Encourage social interaction, as these require reading non-verbal cues, making decisions, interacting quickly and sometimes even managing conflict.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Be physically active on a regular basis.
  Sources : Visit the Government of Quebec's Portail santé mieux-être and the Observatoire de la prévention of the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) website for more information on adopting a healthy lifestyle and risk factors.  


[1] Statements excerpted from: