Strength training builds muscle and may also be good for the brain. A study from British Columbia compared the results of three different exercise regimens in women between 70 and 80 years of age. All the participants had mild cognitive impairment at the outset of the study. One group was randomly assigned to do weight training with supervision. Another group did aerobic exercise by walking outdoors and a third group did basic balance and tone. After six months, the women who did resistance training twice a week tested better on attention and memory than the other women. MRI images showed improved brain function as well. The investigators suggest that twice-weekly resistance training tailored to older participants shows promise in slowing cognitive decline in the elderly.
[Archives of Internal Medicine, April 23, 2012]