In addition to build muscle mass, resistance training may also help prevent the onset of dementia, a new study suggests.
Researchers in Canada have found that resistance training such as weight lifting could increase a person’s performance in tests on attention, memory, and conflict resolution in people with mild cognitive impairment.
This study was conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia and the findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, in Vancouver, Canada.
For the study, the researchers had 86 women with mild cognitive impairment (aged between 70 and 80) to perform various sets of resistance exercises for two times per week. This went on for 26 weeks while the researchers conducted tests to measure the seniors’ cognitive health.
At the end of the study, the researchers found a significant improvements in memory and attention, as well as their ability to resolve conflicts.
“Doing resistance training twice a week could be a promising strategy to change the trajectory of cognitive decline in elderly,” said lead researcher Teresa Liu-Ambrose, as reported in huffingtonpost.
As a result of the study, researchers believe that resistance training done twice a week could be an effective way to prevent the effects of cognitive decline in elderly, especially the onset of dementia.
Another study by the National Centre for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Japan also found that language ability of a group of 47 older people with mild cognitive impairment improved when they who took part in a mixture of aerobic, strength and balance exercises over a 12 month period.
It is clear that, when guided and supervised properly, elderly people can reap the physical benefits of resistance training as well.