As couples grow old, they yearn for mental compatibility and physical intimacy becomes less-important for some of them. Sex is a taboo word in our society and people cringe to use it publicly. But, right from pain relief to improved quality of sleep, there are numerous health benefits linked to sex. There are also notions that improved cognitive ability in older adults is an added benefit. A new study explored this notion and came out with the exact facts.
Memory does not remain the same in your 20s and 60s. Cognitive decline is part of the ageing process and such age-related decline displays mild to moderate symptoms that increase in severity if the person is diagnosed with dementia. While dementia-inducing factors include education levels, physical activity, smoking and alcohol, there are studies that suggest that physical intimacy is linked to increased brain power, especially in the case of older adults.
A 2017 study that comprised of more than 6000 adults (2,672 men and 3,344 women) aged between 50 and 83 years found that sexually-active adults had better verbal fluency and visuospatial ability. The participants were given a memory test and also were asked to answer questions relating to their physical intimacy such as kissing, sexual touching and intercourse. Although better memory performance was associated with greater physical intimacy, the overall memory functionality experienced a decline over the two-year study period. It is now clear that physical intimacy does not improve mental functionality in any way.
Studies also exist on the benefits of exercise on dementia and one study regarding this was published on the very same day as the study mentioned above. This study analyzed 329 participants with dementia who took up gym sessions twice a week for four months. These participants improved in overall fitness but did not witness any change in cognitive function and health-related quality of life. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease patients show marked improvements in their cognitive skills when they do exercise and details on this are available at www.firsteatright.com.
Although physical intimacy did not improve cognitive function, there are other benefits attached to it. Continue being loved, being in love and bonding with your spouse. Age is only a number!
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.