Resistance Training can also Protect the Brain

The Brain Pow­er resis­tance train­ing study pub­lished ear­li­er this year showed that 12 months of once-week­ly or twice-week­ly strength train­ing improved exec­u­tive cog­ni­tive func­tions (selec­tive atten­tion and con­flict resolution).

The study includ­ed 155 women aged 65- to 75- years-old. Resis­tance train­ing was done in 60mn-class­es using a leg press and free weights. It was com­pared to a con­trol, bal­ance and tone train­ing group who used stretch­ing, range-of-motion, basic core-strength, and bal­ance exer­cis­es as well as relax­ation techniques.

A few days ago the results of the one-year fol­low-up study were released: Seniors who par­tic­i­pat­ed in a strength train­ing exer­cise pro­gram shows sus­tained cog­ni­tive ben­e­fits as well as sav­ings for the health­care system.

Sur­pris­ing­ly, the group that showed sus­tained cog­ni­tive ben­e­fits was the once-week­ly strength train­ing group rather than the twice-week­ly train­ing group. The authors of the study spec­u­late that this group was prob­a­bly more suc­cess­ful at main­tain­ing the same lev­el of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty achieved in the orig­i­nal study.

On top of the cog­ni­tive ben­e­fits, eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits of once-week­ly strength train­ing were also sus­tained 12 months after the orig­i­nal study: The once-week­ly strength group incurred few­er health care resource uti­liza­tion costs and had few­er falls than the twice-week­ly bal­ance and tone group.

This study shows once again how phys­i­cal fit­ness is direct­ly relat­ed to men­tal fit­ness. At all age, exer­cis­ing the body ben­e­fits the brain. Inter­est­ing­ly, aer­o­bic train­ing is usu­al­ly relat­ed to bet­ter cog­ni­tive per­for­mance. This new study shows that resis­tance train­ing can be added to our list of exer­cise to do.

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About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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