Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Exercise and memory problems: more new evidence
Two studies from the U.S. have added to the evidence that exercise can help to stave off memory problems as we get older. In the first study researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine compared two groups of 70-year-olds with mild memory problems. One group took an hour of high-intensity exercise with a trainer four days a week while the other group did gentle stretching. After six months the group doing the high-intensity exercise showed improvements in their thinking skills; something that was more marked among the women. In another study researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, found that older people who had exercised since middle age were 39% less likely to have memory problems while those who exercised into old age were almost a third less likely. Unfortunately light exercise such as bowling, slow dancing or golf with a buggy did not reduce the risk of memory problems.