Exercise as it relates to Disease/Effects of exercise on cognitive abilities in elderly populations

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The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Abilities in Elderly Populations[edit]

Background[edit]

Although the decline in cognitive abilities as we age is widely variable, in general our cognitive abilities do decline in older populations.[1] Studies into the effects that exercise can have on this decline have been produced for decades [2] and have produced a wealth of knowledge on the subject. Exercise has been shown to positively effect the cognition of elderly adults (Adults of 60+ years and those with degenerative diseases of 50–60 years).

The Effects Exercise has on Cognitive Ability[edit]

Apart from the obvious benefits to the physical capabilities through increased fitness and physical function,[3] exercise has long been shown to have a positive effect on cognition. Activities such as aerobic fitness training can have a “robust and beneficial influence on the cognition of sedentary older adults”[4] (although this adaptation can be fairly specific). Not only has it been shown improve cognitive function but also decrease cognitive decline [5] and incidences of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s [6][7]

Recommendations[edit]

Recommendations for exercise in elderly populations (specific for improving cognition) align with those of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association of:

Aerobic activity[edit]

Moderate-intensity 30 mins 5 days pw Vigorous-intensity 20 mins 3 days per week

Muscle Strengthening Activity[edit]

8-10 exercises on 2 or more non consecutive days per week using the major muscle groups

Benefits of Greater Amounts of Activity[edit]

Participation in exercise above the recommended Aerobic and Muscle Strengthing activity has increased benefits

Flexibility Activity[edit]

10 mins at least 2 days per week

Balance Activity[edit]

Some balancing activity should be included

[8][9][10]

Further reading[edit]

About: The Human Internet http://exercise.about.com/health/exercise/mbody.htm

AgeWorks.com http://www.ageworks.com

Promoting Successful Ageing http://gero.usc.edu/AgeWorks/core_courses/gero500_core/successful_lect/#classA

The Cochrane Library http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/details/collection/2043267/Physical-activity-and-exercise-for-health-and-well-being-of-older-people.html

References[edit]

  1. Riddle, David R., ed. Brain aging: models, methods, and mechanisms. CRC Press, 2010
  2. Colcombe, Stanley, and Arthur F. Kramer. "Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults A meta-analytic study." Psychological science 14.2 (2003): 125-130.
  3. Heyn, Patricia, Beatriz C. Abreu, and Kenneth J. Ottenbacher. "The effects of exercise training on elderly persons with cognitive impairment and dementia: a meta-analysis." Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 85.10 (2004): 1694-1704.
  4. Colcombe, Stanley, and Arthur F. Kramer. "Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults A meta-analytic study." Psychological science 14.2 (2003): 125-130.
  5. Weuve, Jennifer, et al. "Physical activity, including walking, and cognitive function in older women." JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association 292.12 (2004): 1454-1461.
  6. Larson, Eric B., et al. "Exercise is associated with reduced risk for incident dementia among persons 65 years of age and older." Annals of internal medicine 144.2 (2006): 73-81.
  7. Suzuki, Takao, et al. "Effects of multicomponent exercise on cognitive function in older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial." BMC neurology 12.1 (2012): 128.
  8. Nelson, Miriam E., et al. "Physical activity and public health in older adults: recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association." Medicine and science in sports and exercise 39.8 (2007): 1435.
  9. Haskell, William L., et al. "Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association." Medicine and science in sports and exercise 39.8 (2007): 1423.
  10. Varela, Silvia, et al. "Effects of two different intensities of aerobic exercise on elderly people with mild cognitive impairment: a randomized pilot study." Clinical Rehabilitation 26.5 (2012): 442-450.