You might have heard the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but did you know that now adding weight training to your cardio routine can keep the doctor away too?
A new study from the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute shows that cardio and weight training may, in fact, be better than apples for keeping you healthy. By incorporating cardio and weight lifting into your schedule, seniors can actually reduce their health care access by seeing doctors less often.
PLOS ONE, an online journal, published a study on the effects of weight lifting and cardio in senior citizens compared to the typical exercises such as yoga, Pilates, and other toning exercises. The study examined 86 women, aged between 70 and 80 years old, with “mild-cognitive impairment,” which is a prime component in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Their research showed that cardio and weight lifting, when applied to each individual patient in regards to their “age specific target heart rate,” was more effective in reducing cognitive decline as well as minimizing the impairment of movement in seniors.
“We found that those who participated in the cardio or weight training program incurred fewer health care resources – such as doctor visits and lab tests – compared to those in the balance and toning program,” said Jennifer Davis, lead researcher on the study.
Can Exercise Really Help Cognitive Performance?
Visits to the doctor’s office are something that few people actually look forward to. But by simply adding a one to two day a week workout to your schedule you could potentially cut those visits in half.
While research has shown that toning and balance exercises such as yoga, Pilates, and tai-chi are good for you, these exercises do not benefit the cognitive performance of the brain to the same extent as cardio and weight lifting. The toning and balancing exercises that are enjoyed by many seniors may be beneficial to improving your overall health, but when it comes to the brain, cardio and weight lifting win the gold medal.