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Resistance Training Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly

Also improves quality of life

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Resistance training improves cognitive function and quality of life in the elderly, according to a report in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Marco T. de Mello, Ph.D., and colleagues from Universidade Federal de Sao Paolo in Brazil, randomly assigned 62 elderly individuals to no resistance training, or a 24-week program of moderate-intensity (50 percent of repetition maximum) or high-intensity (80 percent of repetition maximum) resistance training.

The researchers found that both training groups had a significant improvement in their general health as well as on various tests for memory, attention and mood. Both groups also had higher serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-1. The high-intensity group gained significantly more lean mass than the group that did not undergo resistance training, the report indicates.

"This study has shown that resistance exercise had a positive impact on cognitive function in the elderly," the authors conclude. "From the psychological standpoint, however, moderate intensity might be more appropriate for the elderly because it provided more significant improvements in their mood profiles and certain aspects of quality of life, in addition to the cognitive benefits."

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