A new study found exercises that strengthen muscles can slow down mental decline and possibly improve cognitive performance. The study represents one of the first attempts to compare the mental effects of different types of exercise.
The researchers recruited 86 women who were experiencing mild cognitive impairment that often leads to dementia. Women who did strength training showed “significantly greater improvement” on certain mental tasks involving executive functions, said the lead research Teresa Liu-Ambrose at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility and the UBC Brain Research Centre.
“Executive function involves complex thinking,” explained Dr. Liu-Ambrose who is also an assistant professor at UBC. “It’s your ability to make decisions, multi-task and to plan.”
Globe and Mail, Fri Apr 27 2012, Page: L4, By: Paul Taylor, Link to full text