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Cognitive Benefits of Physical Activity for Older Adults

Jean-Charles Lebeau, Ph.D., CMPC | May 20, 2022

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Physical activity improves both physical and cognitive health, especially among older adults. Cognitive health encompasses many aspects of our daily functioning: memory, maintaining attention and concentration, dealing with distractions, solving problem and making decisions.

Those cognitive functions tend to decline as we age, and physical activity can greatly prevent cognitive decline.

For example, a meta-analysis has shown that adults participating in higher levels of physical activity had a 38% lower risk of cognitive decline in follow-up years.

For low to moderate activity, there is still a 35% lower risk of cognitive decline.

So, the message is simple: any physical activity can help.

No need to lift heavy weight at the gym or run marathons to reap the benefits.

For those looking at a more specific program that could be done at the gym, an example could be five to seven movements at 60-80% 1 RM, two sets, with two minutes rest, twice a week.

For older adults with more limited mobility, some exercise with resistance band, or/and with a chair can be helpful.

Aging is also associated with arthritis, so doing exercises that require fine motor skills with fingers can help maintain finger joint function. This is especially important for being able to grab and manipulate small objects such as silverware or a pen or opening a water bottle. Ideally, an exercise program for older adults should include some aspects of aerobic and resistance training, along with balance exercises to prevent falls.

Studies with older adults have shown that physical activity specifically impacts executive functions…

Pour lire la suite 🡺 Cognitive Benefits of Physical Activity for Older Adults (acsm.org)

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