The physical benefits of exercise in elderly people are well-established.
More recently, investigators have examined the benefits
of exercise on the mental health of elderly people. A new
study suggests that aerobically fit individuals tend to perform
better on measures of the mind.
Building on evidence that many heart-healthy habits do the
brain good, a study of 84 men and women (aged 50-77) with
clinical depression were randomly assigned exercise plans
for a period of four months. Investigators found that four
months of regular aerobic exercise appeared to sharpen study
participantsí memory and certain other mental abilities. This
finding suggests exercise could counter the mental decline
that comes with aging, according to the report.
The new findings, published in the Journal of Aging and
Physical Activity, suggest that the mental health benefits
of exercise go beyond depression. The researchers suggest
that the implications are that exercise might be able to offset
some of the mental declines that we often associate with the
For more information on senior health, visit http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/senior.html.
Khatri P, Blumenthal JA, Babyak MA, et al. Effects of exercise
training on cognitive functioning among depressed older men
and women. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity,
January 2001:9, pp. 43-47.
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