Weight Lifting Improves Brain Health
Health & Beauty / /
It is widely known that practicing physical exercises has various benefits to our health. Researchers from the University of Sydney provided concrete information on how weight lifting can prevent dementia.
According to the Alzheimer’s Disease International, by 2030 there will be 76 million people living with dementia worldwide, which shows constant growth in comparison with the current results. But the latest results of the study led by the University of Sydney indicate a relationship between increase in strength and better functioning of the brains.
The trail involved 100 adults on the age between 55 and 86 who were diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment – a high risk of Alzheimer’s disease. They were divided into 4 groups, each given to practice specific tasks, that were mainly combination of resistance exercises, cognitive training, placebo computerized training (watching relaxing videos), placebo physical exercises and brain trainings. The exercises were practiced twice a week, during 6 months, each session lasted 90 minutes.
According to the researches who were leading the trail, participants were working to at least 80 per cent of their peak strength. As they got stronger, the weight they were lifting on each exercise machines was increased to maintain the intensity at 80 per cent of their peak strength.
After 6 month of training a MRI scans was made among those who took part in the weight lifting program and it showed that the size of specific areas in the brain has increase. The conclusion was that these changes in the brain were associated with the cognitive improvements after weight lifting.
“The more we can get people doing resistance training like weight lifting, the more likely we are to have a healthier ageing population. The key however is to make sure you are doing it frequently, at least twice a week, and at a high intensity so that you are maximizing your strength gains. This will give you the maximum benefit for your brain,” said Dr Mavros, of Sydney University.
Dr Mavros further added that by giving the alarming predictions for dementia over the coming decades, this information is expected to contribute in designing more effective dementia prevention strategies as well as provide better clinical and community implementation.