The latest research from McMaster University, Canada, suggests that high-intensity exercise is associated with a lower risk of dementia.
For the study, a team of researchers enrolled sedentary seniors in an exercise program and divided them into three groups. Seniors from two groups performed high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT), while the third (control) group performed stretching.
The analysis of the received data showed that only those seniors that performed HIIT had significant improvements in neurogenesis-dependent memory. The participants from two other groups showed no improvement.
Study lead researcher Jennifer J. Heisz, an Associate Professor in Kinesiology and Associate Director (Seniors) of the Physical Activity Centre of Excellence at McMaster University, comments: “The results are promising because they suggest it’s never too late to get the brain health benefits of being physically active, but if you are starting late and want to see results fast, our research suggests you may need to increase the intensity of your exercise.
Senior people who never exercised and started working out in their 70s or 80s have the same ability to gain muscle mass as athletes of a similar age, according to a new study from the University of Birmingham.
In the study, the participants were divided into two groups where the first group included master athletes in 70s and 80s who exercised during their entire life, and the second group consisted of healthy people of similar age who never worked out.
Every participant received an isotope tracer and after that performed a single bout of exercise on an exercise machine. After that, the researchers made a muscle biopsy within the 48-hour period.
Lead researcher Dr Leigh Breen says: “Our study clearly shows that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been a regular exerciser throughout your life, you can still derive benefit from exercise whenever you start. […] a long term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness.”
A small clinical study, completed by the researchers from the University of Delaware in Newark, suggests that older adults who regularly drink tart cherry juice may improve cognitive function.
For the study, the researchers included 37 volunteers with normal cognitive function aged between 65 and 80 years. Study participants were divided into two groups, where the first group drank 2 cups of tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks and another group received a placebo drink.
Lead researcher Sheau Ching Chai, an assistant professor of behavioral health and nutrition comments the results of the study: “Cognitive function is a key determinant of independence and quality of life among older adults. The potential beneficial effects of tart cherries may be related to the bioactive compounds they possess, which include polyphenols, anthocyanins, and melanin.”
Recent research from Austria finds that senior adults, who regularly exercise, sticking to the WHO recommendations, perform their routine tasks more easily and are more independent.
For the study, around 3,300 volunteers aged 65 years and over from Austria were included. The researchers assigned them to perform different types of physical activity including 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 75 minutes of intensive aerobic physical activity, within a week. Muscle strengthening activities also were added.
The scientists also measured their ability to perform everyday activities such as “activities of daily living/ADLs” (setting up, eating, drinking) and “instrumental activities of daily living/IADLs” (doing housework).
Having analyzed the received results, the researchers concluded that seniors who performed recommended units of exercise weekly were 3 times more likely to manage the ADLs and twice more likely to be able to perform IADLs.
For the study, a team of researchers analyzed medical records from 1947 patients from the University of Florida health clinic. They were older than 55 years and matched every AMD case. Also, 5841 patients were included as controls.
The authors of the study conclude in their paper: “We found that metformin, but not other medications, was associated with decreased odds of developing AMD. These findings suggest that metformin itself, and not other medications, has an important protective role.”
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