A Workout a Day Helps Keep the Doctor Away
A study has found that regular weight training and cardio exercises can help prevent illnesses in older age. So can working out really keep the doctor away? Many of the previous studies have been conducted on younger people, but this one followed 86 women, between the age of 70 and 80.
The women all had mild cognitive impairment, which is a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The participants randomly assigned weight training classes, outdoor walking or yoga and Pilates classes for 6 months.
This study which was published in the online journal PLOS ONE, was based on previous research by Prof. Liu-Ambrose, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility, Cognitive Neuroscience. Her research found that weight training once or twice a week may help to minimise cognitive decline and impaired mobility in seniors.
The researchers found that the women who were part of the weight training and cardio group had less doctor visits compared to the yoga and pilates group.
The weight training classes targeted different muscle groups for a complete body workout, whereas the cardio classes were targeted to the individuals specific age related heart rate.
“While balance and toning exercises are good elements of an overall health improvement program, you can’t ‘down-dog’ your way to better brain health,” says Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an Associate Professor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine and a member of the Brain Research Centre at UBC and VCH Research Institute. “The new study also shows that cardio and weight training are more cost-effective for the health care system.”
This study provides further evidence of the need for regular exercise throughout all age groups. If you are new to exercise or have a chronic illness, please consult with a qualified personal trainer before starting an exercise programme.