Baseball player Fred Merkle was the youngest player in the National League in 1908 when he committed an infamous base-running error. When heading for third, he failed to tag second base and eventually left the field thinking his team, the New York Giants, had won the game.
That mistake nullified the victory, and the goof became known as "Merkle's Boner." The nickname Bonehead stuck with him throughout his 19-year career.
You don't want to be a bonehead. But according to a new study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, there is a definite association between what goes on in your bones and your head.
When 1,741 women ages 65 and older were followed from 1997 to 2013, researchers found that cognitive decline during the first five years of the study was tied to more than a 16% increased risk of osteoporosis and fracture over the following decade.
It makes us think perhaps all the smart moves that protect against osteoporosis — daily activity with aerobics (especially jumping) and weight-bearing exercise; a diet rich in plant-based calcium; supplemental vitamin D (most people are deficient); and not smoking — turn out to be good for your brain health too.
And life habits that protect the brain — not smoking, eating a plant-based, anti-inflammatory diet, and walking 10,000 steps a day — are good for the bones.
So bone up on what you need to do for good nutrition and exercise, and you'll have a head start on enduring brain and bone health as you age.