Saturday September 21, 2019

Exercise May Provide a Boost to Ageing Minds: Study

According to the study, the brain gains were no greater than the improvements from when they had exercised a single time

0
//
yoga, exercise
Yoga is also a good physical exercise. Wikimedia Commons

Exercise seems to endow a wealth of benefits, from the release of happiness-inducing hormones to higher physical fitness and now it may provide a boost to the mind too, a new study suggests.

The researchers have found that a single bout of exercise improves cognitive functions and working memory in some older people.

In experiments that included physical activity, brain scans, and working memory tests, they also found that participants experienced the same cognitive benefits and improved memory from a single exercise session as they did from longer, regular exercise.

“In terms of behavioural change and cognitive benefits from physical activity, you can say, ‘I’m just going to be active today. I’ll get a benefit.’ So, you don’t need to think of it like you’re going to train for a marathon to get some sort of optimal peak of performance. You just could work at it day by day to gain those benefits,” “said Michelle Voss, Assistant Professor at University of Iowa.

For the study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the research team wanted to tease out how a single session of exercise may affect older individuals.

They enrolled 34 adults between 60 and 80 years of age who were healthy but not regularly active. Each participant rode a stationary bike on two separate occasions — with light and then more strenuous resistance when pedalling — for 20 minutes.

Before and after each exercise session, each participant underwent a brain scan and completed a memory test.

Good habits
Exercising regularly can keep your brain healthy. VOA

In the brain scan, the researchers examined bursts of activity in regions known to be involved in the collection and sharing of memories.

After a single exercise session, the researchers found in some individuals increased connectivity between the medial temporal — which surrounds the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus — and the parietal cortex and prefrontal cortex, two regions involved in cognition and memory.

Those same individuals also performed better on the memory tests. Other individuals showed little to no gain.

Also Read: 3 Simple Ideas on How to Turn Your Plain Canvas Tote Bag into a Head-turning Accessory

The boost in cognition and memory from a single exercise session lasted only a short while for those who showed gains, the researchers found.

Most individuals in the moderate and lighter-intensity groups showed mental benefits, judging by the brain scans and working memory tests given at the beginning and at the end of the three-month exercise period.

According to the study, the brain gains were no greater than the improvements from when they had exercised a single time. (IANS)

Next Story

How Often You Exercise Depends on Your Personality

If you have not been able to meet your gym goals despite persistant efforts to wake up early or hitting that running session or exercise, blame it on your personality

0
exercise, workout, lifestyle, fitness, personality
Self-reported levels of the trait called 'planfulness' may translate into real world differences in behaviour. Pixabay

If you have not been able to meet your gym goals despite persistent efforts to wake up early or hitting that running session or exercise, blame it on your personality.

According to researchers from University of Oregon, some people seem to be able to more consistently meet their goals than others, but it remained unclear if personality traits encourage individuals to achieve long-term goals in their day-to-day lives.

Conscientiousness has long been tied with healthy behaviours.

Narrowing their focus to “planfulness” — lead researcher Rita M. Ludwig and colleagues Sanjay Srivastava and Elliot T. Berkman, they zeroed in on psychological processes — such as mental flexibility, and a person’s ability to make short-term sacrifices in pursuit of future success that contribute directly to achieving long-term goals.

“There indeed appears to be a certain way of thinking about goals that correlates with long-term progress,” said Ludwig.

“What’s new in this study is that we used an objective measure of goal progress that could be recorded as participants naturally went about their lives: their check-ins at a local gym”.

exercise, workout, lifestyle, fitness, personality
The participants, many of whom were students, provided a written description of their exercise plans and completed measures of self-control and grit. Pixabay

The findings, published in the journal Psychological Science, suggest that self-reported levels of the trait called ‘planfulness’ may translate into real world differences in behaviour.

The team analyzed gym attendance of 282 participants over a 20-week period.

The participants, many of whom were students, provided a written description of their exercise plans and completed measures of self-control and grit.

While all participants experienced a similar decline in gym attendance over the course of each semester, individuals who rated themselves high on “planfulness” items such as “developing a clear plan when I have a goal is important to me” went to the gym more throughout both semesters compared to those who ranked themselves lower on “planfulness”.

ALSO READ: Tinder Becomes the Latest App to Work on its own Streaming Series

“Planfulness” was only significantly associated with the frequency of participants’ gym attendance during the winter semester, possibly due to participants completing their physical activity plan later in the year, the researchers noted.

While there was a small, but significant relationship between participant planfulness and the level of detail in their physical activity plans, descriptiveness was unexpectedly found to have no relationship with gym attendance, Ludwig and colleagues noted.

“It seems logical that people who are successful with their goals would be able to write in detail about their planning process,” said Ludwig.

“We were surprised, then, to find no relationship between people’s goal pursuit behavior and how they wrote about their goals.” (IANS)