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High-intensity exercise increases memory in the elderly

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High-intensity treadmill workouts may not occur immediately when considering an appropriate training regimen for older adults, but according to a new study these workouts can significantly enhance memory function up to 30%.

University Researchers and McMaster in Ontario, Canada recruited 64 adults between the ages of 60 and 88 for a 12-week study, in addition to having low levels of activity prior to the study, the elderly were otherwise healthy.

The participants were divided into three experimental groups, one group did a moderate treadmill workout that pushed their heart rate up to 70-75% of their maximum for their age, another did more intense workouts that pushed the heart rate up to 90-95%, but for shorter periods than time and the third game and do gentle stretching exercises.

Adults in the high-intensity exercise group experienced a significant improvement in memory tests up to 30% after the three-month program. Interestingly, participants in the moderate exercise or stretching group did not show an average improvement in memory.

"The test examines the ability to remember the details of new memories without mixing things up," said Jennifer Hays, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University and lead author of the study. "For example, if you meet two new people today, it's important not to mix up their names or personal information or to forget that you took your medicine yesterday, not today," she added.

Dementia, which encompasses dozens of conditions involving memory loss, mostly in the elderly, affects 9 million Americans, according to Dementia Society of America . Hays Laboratory showed earlier that the level of physical activity contributes as much to the risk of dementia as genetics.

"Physical activity is the biggest variable risk factor for dementia. This is a very important message for public health, given that most people are not at risk for genetic risk, "says Hays.

And what should older people want to become more active?

" Always I recommend people do this they love because it means they are more likely to do it! It's never too late to get brain health benefits from physical activity, but if you start late and want to see the results quickly, our study suggests you may need to increase the intensity of your exercise, "Hays said, adding.

An important point is that the older adults in the study were otherwise healthy, which may not be the case for many older people. high intensity exercises

"Exercise helps reduce the risk of dementia and alleviate some of the symptoms of dementia, including improving the activities of daily living and agility, and this can improve overall knowledge and balance." , said Heise, adding that studies aimed at high-intensity exercise in people with dementia have not been conducted at the moment, but there are scientific grounds to believe it may be helpful.

"There is an urgent need for interventions that reduce the risk of dementia in healthy older adults. We have only recently begun to appreciate the role that lifestyle plays and the biggest modifying risk factor of all is physical activity," Hays said.

"You can't change your genes, but you can change your lifestyle," she added.