29
Nov

Improve memory and prevent cognitive decline with exercise, study says

… not that we did not always know it, but it is good to see backed by research!

 
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sneakers(NaturalHealth365) Everyone is aware of the benefits of exercise including cardiovascular health, improved physical fitness and emotional well-being.  But, did you know – with the rising concerns about dementia – regular exercise can improve your memory?

That’s right!  Just 15 minutes of exercise per day has been shown to bring a tremendous boost to health, longevity and overall quality of life.  For example, new research is confirming that building muscle is beneficial in avoiding cognitive decline and preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Improve memory by lifting weights

Australian researchers have found a direct correlation between building muscle and improving one’s memory and cognitive functioning. These results were found in adults that already had some degree of mild cognitive impairment.

The researchers determined that regular sessions of weight training helped to markedly improve brain functioning in adults even if they already had a mild degree of cognitive impairment. Individuals with this type of impairment are at a higher risk for developing brain illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Brain diseases in the U.S. are reaching crisis levels

It is believed that a staggering 135 million people will become afflicted with some form of dementia by the year 2050. Because of this, the study results have profound implications for the growing aging population. The importance of regular exercise is significant for everyone, but it could pose additional benefits for aging adults.

These findings demonstrate a strong, positive link between how the body’s muscles adapt to resistance training over time and its effect on improving brain functioning. These results held true even in persons over age 55 who were already showing signs of mild cognitive impairment. The study results were published in the Journal of American Geriatrics.

Positive results from exercise persisted even one year later

The research also showed that physical training is more beneficial than just brain and memory training. While it is unclear if the participants continued to exercise at the same levels, nonetheless the results were found to last at least a year after the six month study commenced.

The study included 100 adults age 55 to 86 who showed signs of mild cognitive impairment related to aging. One fourth of the study participants did strength training in the form of weight lifting twice per week for six months.

Strength training shown to be more beneficial than brain training for cognitive health

They used a minimum of 80 percent of their peak capacity. As they got stronger, their overall cognition was found to have improved “significantly.” By comparison, participants who were involved in cognitive training or placebo activities showed no improvements.

Strength training brings a range of health benefits to adults of any age. For best results, weight training sessions should be undertaken at least twice per week at 80 percent or higher intensity.  Of course, if you need help in designing a good fitness routine, seek the advice of a trained professional.

References:

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2015/08August/Pages/15-minute-daily-walk-will-help-you-live-longer-says-study.aspx

http://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2016/10/25/increasing-muscle-strength-can-improve-brain-function–study.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3867920/Exercise-good-brain-Boosting-muscle-strength-help-stave-dementia.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/06/23/exercise-triggers-brain-cell-growth-and-improves-memory-scientis


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