Tuesday August 20, 2019

Exercising May Improve Cognitive Skills in Elders

Participants who exercised showed significant improvements in cognitive skills when compared to those who did not exercise

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Exercise
Exercise, healthy diet may improve cognitive skills in elders. Pixabay

Just 35 minutes of walking or cycling three times a week along with a healthy diet may improve cognitive skills in older adults, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, examined the effects of both exercise and diet on cognitive skills.

For the study, the team involved 160 persons with an average age of 65 and randomly assigned them to one of the four groups — aerobic exercise alone; DASH diet alone; both aerobic exercise and the DASH diet; or health education, which consisted of educational phone calls once every week or two.

The research team found those who exercised and consumed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean meats, had greater improvements compared to health education controls.

exercise, Adults
Being physically active can also help prevent risk factors for stroke, like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Pixabay

Participants who exercised showed significant improvements in cognitive skills when compared to those who did not exercise.

There was no improvement in participants who only consumed the DASH diet, although those who exercised and consumed the DASH diet had greater improvements compared to health education controls.

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“The results are encouraging because in just six months, by adding regular exercise to their lives, people who have cognitive impairments without dementia improved their ability to plan and complete certain cognitive tasks,” said co-author James A. Blumentha from Duke University Medical Center in Durham. (IANS)

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Exercise More for Better Fitness After Retirement: Study

While retirement can free up time, deteriorating health and wellbeing often become a new barrier. That is why it is so important to maintain fitness in the lead up to retirement

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Good habits
Exercising regularly can keep your brain healthy. VOA

Middle-aged people over 55 years of age in particular should be doing more to keep fit as they approach retirement age because of the physical, mental and social benefits of being active, says a study.

“Adults are spending more years of their life working than ever before. Retiring is a life-changing event which provides all sorts of opportunities – but it coincides with declining physical activity, health and wellbeing,” said the study’s lead author Charlotte Salter from the University of East Anglia in England.

“From the age of around 55, people begin thinking about retirement and making plans for their future,” Salter said.

For the study, researchers worked to gather insight about the relationship between retirement and physical activity.

More than 1,000 over-55s took part in an online ‘Physical Activity and Retirement Transitions’ survey about their physical activity levels and expectations and experiences of retirement.

The research team also held focus groups and interviews with people at retirement age about staying physically active.

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Evening exercise increases whole-body energy expenditure for an extended period of time. Pixabay

“In order to enjoy a fit and healthy retirement, a really key thing is that people need to maintain their physical fitness through their fifties and beyond.

“But we found that there are many barriers to this – from poor health, lack of motivation and the cost and availability of sports, activities and fitness classes, to not having enough time – due to work or in many cases because of caring responsibilities,” Salter added.

The report showed how employers and healthcare providers could do more to promote physical fitness to people over 55. And that sports centres and community fitness projects could also play more of a part in encouraging healthy ageing.

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While retirement can free up time, deteriorating health and wellbeing often become a new barrier. That is why it is so important to maintain fitness in the lead up to retirement.

“There is no one-size-fits all approach. But we found that activity that is combined with socialising, or other purposeful actions such as dog walking, gardening, housework, childcare or volunteering, were all good ways for over-55s to remain active,” she added. (IANS)