Exercise improves cognitive skills in older population

Exercise May Help Prevent Dementia

Many older patients are concerned about the onset of cognitive impairment and dementia. Many have wondered if there is a pill or medicine to prevent or reverse dementia. While we do now have medicines that can partially treat dementias, no medicines are without side effects. Some studies suggest that prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia may be easier than we thought and without risk.   Two recent studies demonstrate that physical activity is strongly associated with preserved mental capacity as we age.

A recent German study examined a cohort of 3903 patients between 2001 and 2003 and followed them every 3 months for 2 years. All patients were tested for cognitive impairment and were also divided into groups by activity levels: none, moderate or high. Moderate physical activity was defined as strenuous activities  (including walking, hiking, bicycling and swimming) performed fewer than 3 days a week, whereas high activity was defined as strenuous activities 3 or more times a week.

At the start of the study, 10.7% had cognitive impairment. Of those with cognitive impairment 21% were tin the no activity group compared with 10.5% and 7.3% in the moderate and high activity groups, respectively. At the end of 2 years the investigators found that 207 additional patients (5.9%) had developed cognitive impairment. The incidence of new cognitive impairment among those with no physical activity was 13.9%. The incidence of new cognitive impairment in the moderate activity group was 6.7% in the high activity group 5.1%. This association remained statistically significant even after adjusting for factors such as age, sex, depression, kidney disease and heart disease.   This shows that moderate and high activity exercise is protective against cognitive impairment and eventual dementia in the older population. Physical activity appears to cut your risk of cognitive decline and dementia in half.

A 2nd study examined the effect of resistance training on cognitive skills of women aged 65 to 75. These women were enrolled either in once weekly or twice weekly resistance training classes or twice-weekly balance and tone training classes. Patients were evaluated using tests of selective attention and conflict resolution. At the end of one year those patients that were enrolled in the resistance training had significantly improved their scores with respect to selective attention, and as well as task performance; when compared to the control group, which had no exercise. The group that was enrolled only in balance and tone training had deterioration in these tests of cognitive impairment.  This study suggests that resistance training is more beneficial than simply tone and balance training in the preservation and improvement of cognitive function

At Midwest rejuvenation age management center, we strongly believe in physical activity as one of the best types of medicine. These 2 studies show that cognitive impairment and dementia can be reduced by physical activity. We strongly recommend resistance training as an important component of this physical activity for the most beneficial effects.

Mid West Rejuvenation Anti-Aging Center is your expert source for restored appearance and vitality. Our combination of state of the art anti-aging medical programs and medical weight loss will get you feeling your best

Mid West Rejuvenation Anti-Aging Center is your expert source for restored appearance and vitality. Our combination of state of the art anti-aging medical programs and medical weight loss will get you feeling your best and functioning at your optimal levels.

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