Brain health: Cardio and strength training preserve cognition

Evan Walker
Evan Walker TheMediTary.Com |
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Aerobic and strength training could help keep the brain young, a new study suggests. Image credit: Rob and Julia Campbell/Getty Images.
  • Engaging in both aerobic exercise and strength training can improve cognitive performance in populations aged over 80 years, a new study suggests.
  • Participants who performed only cardio/aerobic exercise fared no better than people who were sedentary at mental acuity tests.
  • The study underscores the value of being physically active as long as possible as one reaches their later years.

A new study from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation, published in the journal GeroScience, finds that for people aged 80 years or older, a combination of cardio/aerobic exercise and strength training may improve cognition.

The study found that people who combined these two types of exercises exhibited higher cognitive performance than people who were sedentary and people who performed cardio exercise alone.

Individuals who engaged in cardio exercise along with strength training — regardless of duration and intensity — were more mentally agile, quicker at thinking, and also had a stronger ability to shift or adapt their thinking as necessary.

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