Light Exercise Fends Off Mental Decline
Even a light exercise program may stave off mental decline in older adults, a study suggests. Researchers enrolled 126 participants (average age: 73) and put them in one of two 12-week exercise programs, both of which also included mental exercises. The first included 30 minutes of dance-based aerobics three days per week, while the other filled that time with stretching and toning. Both workout routines included a warm-up, strength training, and relaxation to fill out a full hour of physical activity. Both groups showed similar gains on six mental tests, suggesting that how much one exercises may matter more than the types of exercise one chooses to do. Yet the study didn’t include a non-exercise group with which to compare the results from working out.
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, published online April 1, 2013