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Al Power is a geriatrician, author, musician, and an international educator on transformational models of care for older adults, particularly those living with changing cognitive abilities. You can follow his speaking schedule at

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  1. Su hyoung Kim
    Su hyoung Kim at | | Reply

    I am an AGNG 200 student at the Erickson School of Aging, University of Maryland Baltimore County. During class, we discuss about the issues of Aging. I agree with this article that health heart is related to health body. People tend to think that they need to eat healthier and use their brain, but as reading this article, I realize that they have to have healthier heart first. In addition, the cardiovascular system promotes brain health. To improve cardiovascular system, people just need to do something such as going swimming, riding a bike, and going for a walk. If people don’t do anything, their heart and body will operate less effectively. We can’t really exercise our brains, but we should try to have health hearts to support health bodies.

  2. Kaila
    Kaila at | | Reply

    Hello, I am an Aging 200 student at the Erickson School of Aging. As a pre-med student, I tend to be intrigued by the more physiological/biological aspects of aging. It makes complete sense that the circulatory system be the key component for brain health since the brain bathes in blood and needs that consistent and balanced flow for proper function. However, I do challenge the idea that exercise (or physical activity) supersedes dietary choices and brain teasers in the goal of brain health. Along with the promoting cardio health, our textbook has mentioned the idea that free radicals, or ionized oxygen, in our diet can destroy bodily function over time. Thus, a healthy low-glucose diet, ideal for a healthy heart, is also important to anti-aging. Unlike most other cells in the body, brain cells rarely undergo change and repair and tend to remain intact. Therefore, it makes sense that we cannot “exercise” brain cells, but rather maintain supporting parts of the body. That being said, are there no other systems responsible for this support? Our studies have also mentioned the immune system as a key component responsible for aging. As it defends the body various invaders, wouldn’t it be important in protecting the heart, blood, and thus the brain? In a recent media review of mine, I discovered a segment called “The Aging Brain” done by the US News and World Report that discussed the values presented in the activity theory of living. According to this theory, activity promotes life span. As this indeed supports the notion to exercise throughout life, the segment specifically mentioned how “new challenges” increase neural function in the brain due to dendrite production. The increase in dendrites promotes cell communication within the brain. Yet, these challenges included hobbies like painting, planting, singing in the chorus. Therefore, I believe cognitive activity can be just as important as physical activity. Again, I do agree that cardio is important and exercise is a definite avenue, but I think we should still consider all avenues as a holistic approach to brain health.

  3. tumwineb
    tumwineb at | | Reply

    Yes the post is changing aging

  4. Madeleine Kolb
    Madeleine Kolb at | | Reply

    Right on, Dr. Power. My husband The Engineer is a long-time subject in a study of aging pilots at Stanford. The director often uses the same words–What’s good for the heart is good for the brain. Of course, it makes perfect sense because the brain needs oxygen and glucose and the other nutrients it gets from the blood supply.

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