Improve memory and prevent cognitive decline with exercise, study says

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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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  • Troy Reed

    This is an interesting article. Can it be exercise helps with circulation? I am not sure why more muscle means better memory. However, I will take the advice and will start a weight training program.

  • Jody Simmons

    No wonder there are so many people with dementia. Americans are not doing much physical labor. Most are at the computer or in front of the television for a good part of the day. Image what the next generation will be like.

  • Rosiline Crowley

    Seniors who never really exercised when they were younger usually don’t start in the later years. So, the best advice is to get into a routine early on. This way it becomes natural and part of your everyday routine.

  • Ivan G

    Weight lifting also known as resistance training encourages the muscles to normalize insulin levels. This is what the brain depends on to work properly.

  • Amber Roxy

    Since I started an exercise program I feel so much better. It helps with depression. It has been proven that depression is a factor in the development of dementia. The combination of these two conditions makes it very hard to function.

  • Morgan Grossman

    The pharmaceutical industry and the government has failed us. They are both a danger to human health. We have to take matters into our own hands. By putting weights in our grasp we can start our own health program.

  • Jade Tobin

    I started eating right and exercising to get off my diabetic medicine. It worked, now the risk om me getting Alzheimer’s disease is much lower. Having diabetes puts you at an increased risk-in fact there are researchers who claim Alzheimer’s is a form of diabetes.

  • Herman

    It seems such a small amount of time just 15 minuets a day. Yet, I bet many people don’t get that minimum amount of exercise. When I go to local restaurants especially ones with a large selection of all you can eat items it seems getting up is an effort for many of the people.

    Why is exercising such a hard sell to much of the public? What a shame, because it takes so little to improve one’s health.

  • Norma Minkin

    We have to be sure our children value exercise as much as being at the computer. I am less concerned about their homework and more concerned about them getting outdoors to play.

  • Rosina Kugler

    The world has changed so much since I was growing up. Gym was required and outdoor activity was the norm. Now, I watch my grandchildren play on the computer for hours and even eating there or in front of the television.

    For most people it is technological advancement for me it is giving up something far more valuable independence. As our children and grandchildren use more of these devices they will use less of what they have and are meant to use.

    Physically they will be less vital and strong than the previous generations. Perhaps that is why dementia and Alzheimer’s disease seems to be happening to younger people.

  • Lewis Bernard

    I just started exercising and can see the difference. I have more energy and can do more things that were hard to do before. The improved memory is a big incentive to have me keep lifting weights.