Being always on the move helps oneself feels mentally active at any age, revealed a new study.
The study by the Institut universitaire de geriatrie de Montreal (IUGM) compared the effects of different training methods on the cognitive functions of people aged 62 to 84 years.
Two groups were assigned a high-intensity aerobic and strength-training program, whereas the third group performed tasks that targeted gross motor activities (coordination, balance, ball games, locomotive tasks, and flexibility). While the aerobics and strength-training were the only exercises that led to physical fitness improvements after 10 weeks (in terms of body composition, VO2 max, and maximum strength), all three groups showed equivalent improvement in cognitive performance.
The subjects in the third group performed activities that can easily be done at home, which is excellent news for sedentary people who can't see themselves suddenly going to a gym to work out. To improve your cognitive health, you can simply start by doing any activity you like.
The researchers concluded that their findings suggest that structured activities that aim to improve gross motor skills can also improve executive functions, which decline as people age.
The study was published in the journal AGE.