The idea of Alzheimer’s or dementia scares the Hell out of me – not for me, but for my family who will be left with the responsibilities of my care.
So I read everything I can about research, studies, supplements and anything that might impact my “golden years”.
Recently I read about four studies reported at an international conference describing the ability, of particularly, resistance training (my passion!) to improve mental functioning in older adults.
Finally validation to all the harping I’ve been doing for my entire adult life!
Physical activity is essential to healthy aging.
Get off your butts and move! That is exactly what we are designed to do and the 6- and 12-month clinical trials confirmed the beneficial effects of a variety of exercises.
Moderate walking may grow brain region related to memory: increase nerve growth according to Kirk Erickson, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh. “Our findings suggest that the aging brain remains modifiable, and that sedentary older adults can benefit from starting a moderate walking regimen,” Erickson said.
The EXCEL (EXercise for Cognition and Everyday Living, University of British Columbia) study showed resistance training led to functional changes in three brain regions involved in memory. The study confirmed twice-weekly resistance training is a promising strategy to maintaining our brain function.
Additionally, aerobic exercise improved memory scores in the study, but on different types of memory.
Give yourself a gift for your future and implement a moderate resistance and aerobic program in your life.
There are a variety of exercise programs on the internet, or ask a local trainer (ask me for help!). Find a program that works for YOU. That is the key to continuing to incorporate movement into your everyday life – you have to enjoy or have fun doing your exercise program.
If you simply dread doing your exercises on the scheduled days, you will never stick with it. There are SO MANY different things you can add to your life that classify as “exercise”, you should never get bored.
Have fun! Find a partner to help encourage eachother to keep going on a healthier, more active path.
Or if you are not a social person, keep a journal. It’s a visual aid to help keep you on track.
Promise yourself to move every day – EVERY DAY! Do something….. anything. There are exercises each and every one of us can do, no matter what our limitations.
Read more about the above mentioned studies at : www.alz.org