There were lots of great articles on health and aging in the news yesterday.  Thanks to everyone who shared them with me.  I am not able to provide links to all of the articles here, but will try to summarize and give links where possible.

The first article was in the Globe and Mail and was titled

“New study shows the right workout routine can help fight dementia”

You can read the full article here.

Genetics and exercise habits contribute roughly equally to the risk of eventually developing dementia.  We have no control over our genetics, but we do have control over our exercise choices and routines.

Some tentative answers to what kind of exercise we should be doing have come from a recent study out of McMaster University.  The 12 week study involved 3 groups participating in 3 different intensity types of exercise: higher interval type intensity, moderate steady state intensity, and a control group that did only relaxed stretching. The highlights of the 12 week study saw that the group that did the higher intensity interval type performed better on cognitive performance assessments.

The lead researcher, Jennifer Heisz, that the more moderate group also saw improvements on the cognitive performance assessments, while the control group actually saw a decline in their performance.  Therefore the big take home message is that we must be exercising at a minimum of a moderate intensity for our brain health.  “Adding intensity – “this can be as simple as adding hills to [a] daily walk or picking up the pace between light posts,” she says – just speeds things up.”

The research is also showing that strength training and exercises that involve gross motor skills engage your brain and improve your cognitive health.  One of the researchers suggests mixing up your exercises through out the week to ensure that you are getting the benefits.  Find something you like to do and stick with it!

I hope you found this information interesting and that it will inspire you to keep up with your exercise routines.  As this week progresses, I will try and share more of the new articles from Monday with you.

See you in the gym!







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