Exercise improves cognitive function in people older than 50 years: study

Exercise improves cognitive function in people older than 50 years: study

A review of randomized controlled trials has shown that physical exercise including aerobic exercise or strength training of moderate intensity significantly improves cognitive function in people older than 50 years.

Lead researcher Joseph Northey, a PhD candidate at University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport & Exercise, Australia, said that the review of 39 studies showed that thinking and memory skills were most improved when participants exercised the heart and muscles on a regular basis.

Sharing their findings, Northey said, “Considering that there was also a trend towards this effect increasing as training frequency was greater, our findings are very consistent with exercise recommendations for this age group regarding overall health.”

The researchers stressed that the conclusion remained true even among those who already showed signs of decline in their cognitive abilities.

The researchers recommended exercises like T'ai Chi for people over the age of 50 who could not manage other more challenging kinds of physical exercises. Several previous studies suggested that exercise reduces risk of numerous diseases, including obesity and type-2 diabetes.

The researchers reported their findings in the April 24th edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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