STUDY: HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE IMPROVES MEMORY IN SENIORS
Oct 31, 2019
By Bob Komsic
Researchers at McMaster University say their study’s conclusion will have widespread implications for treating dementia, which affects about 500,000 Canadians, and is expected to rise dramatically the next decade.
The findings suggest intense, heart-pumping workouts can improve memory in older adults.
Researchers looked at the impact of exercise on 64 inactive, but otherwise healthy adults between the ages of 60 and 88 over a 12-week period
They were split into three groups.
One took part high-intensity sessions on a treadmmill.
Another engaged in moderately intense aerobic exercise.
The third group just stretched.
Those who took part in the more intense activity saw memory improve up to 30% while the others saw no improvement.
”There is urgent need for interventions that reduce dementia risk in healthy, older adults,” says Jennifer Heisz, lead author of the study.
”Only recently have we begun to appreciate the role that lifestyle plays, and the greatest modifying risk factor of all is physical activity. This work will help to inform the public on exercise prescriptions for brain health so they know exactly what types of exercises boost memory and keep dementia at bay,” Heisz adds.
The study can be found in the journal ”Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.”