Do you suffer from memory loss? Better yet, would you like to prevent memory loss? There’s good news.
For those of you who come to this site frequently you know we encourage our patients to engage in strength training. In addition to making and keeping us stronger and more functional longer, strength training helps to maintain metabolism and therefore body composition. Strength training also improves insulin sensitivity reducing the risk of diabetes and is a stimulus for growth hormone and testosterone release.
But, there’s now evidence that strength training may combat memory loss. This study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine involved women in their 70s and 80s who most likely had some degree of cognitive impairment. Some of the women participated in a strength training program twice a week for 60 minutes and were compared to women who performed aerobics or balance/toning exercises.
MRI scans were performed before and after the study in a third of the women. At the end of the 6 months women in the strength training group were found to have significant cognitive improvement. Improved blood flow was also reported in the strength training group.
Why Does Strength Training Improve Mental Function?
Authors of the study speculated that strength training might require more learning than other exercises and that might explain the finding between strength training and improved cognition. Any type of learning including something physical develops new brain connections and increases cognitive reserve making an individual more resistant to dementia and memory loss.
In addition strength training if done with enough intensity can stimulate hormone release including release growth hormone which has neuro-protective effects.
Don’t let memory loss and loss of mental function rob you from enjoying life as you age. Keep your body and mind active by including strength training to your exercise routine.
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So it appears you can now workout your brain while you workout your muscles with strength training. Prevent memory loss – lift weights.