Stephen Kahn

Can exercise keep me young, even if I am demented?

In Good news, Humor on March 6, 2011 at 5:16 am



“Is there any good news as civilization ends?” I asked myself, a semi-civilized but not very adult person.

Tonight I learned (appropriately, after getting home from a session at the gymnasium) that exercise does wonders to fight off the effects of age.

Exercise wards off aging

Incidentally, I have been forgetting more and more things while I am the gym. I respond my making jokes about dementia as I leave, and asking the staff to ask me if I have left anything behind.

A young lady (in her twenties, I think) who works at the gym, said to me, “Thank you for your letter [I had sent the gym a positive, optimistic, “suck-up” letter] and I have good news for you! Research shows physical exercise increases brain mass and wards off dementia!”

I thanked her for the good news. While I worked out my brain slowly processed the implications.

Various trainers and various pieces of equipment are helpful at providing feedback. I asked one of the trainers (who had once been married to a cardiologist, I think) a week or so ago to check my blood pressure. She did so expertly and cheerfully reported it was right in the “good” range. Just to entertain herself (it was a slow night, and she didn’t have to do CPR or anything like that) she checked it again after I finished my cardio exercise and reported my “recovery” after a few minutes of cool down and rest was also excellent.

I can also check my body mass index and other good things.

In regard to the “brain mass” increases tip, I asked the young staff member as I was leaving, “Perhaps the gym should set up a ‘brain mass’ scale to provide before and after measurements as I enter and leave the gym.”

Her brain mass was working fine. Without any discombobulation, she told me I would have to go to Whidbey Hospital to get such a precise and sophisticated measurement.

As proof I am already demented, I said, “I don’t think even they can make measurements precise enough for such a measurement.”

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  1. Well, that explains why my personal trainer can hold a conversation about gender politics in the age of Enlightenment while we work out. His brain mass must be enormous, given how much time he spends exercising 😉

  2. Be careful while working out with him. He may be top heavy, may reach the “tipping point,” and may topple on to you. Though perhaps removing his body may be regarded as the “final circuit” in your routine for the day.

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