Are You Exercising Enough?

The opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Paraly...

With all the physical exploits by the many athletes and sportspeople in the recent Olympic Games and not least the Paralympics you may be excused for feeling a little winded by all the effort and sheer hard graft they have put into their training.

But of course it hasn’t happened overnight as the saying  goes, a daily regimen of training has been the lot of these magnificent participants, and hopefully for all of them just being able to take part, winners or not,  will remain a joyous highlight of their lives.

elderly_exercisingThe benefits of physical exercise training on cognition and just quality of life for Seniors – and particularly for frail older adults – has been well researched, and in a paper by a number of researchers at the Department of Physiology at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada back in October last year [first published on line last month] they describe the results of an exercise programme for a group of 83 elderly people ages 61 to 89 years old.

They were split into 2 groups, one for control in which the participants did not carry out any training exercises, and one where the 61-89 years olds exercised 3 times a week over a period of 12 weeks, all under close medical supervision.

At the end of this period the benefits already showed up. Compared to the control group,  participants in the exercise group showed larger improvement in physical capacity (functional capacities and physical endurance), cognitive performance (executive functions, processing speed and working memory) and quality of life (overall quality of life, recreational activities, social and family relationships and physical health). Most importantly, benefits were equivalent among frail and non-frail participants suggesting that it is never too late to engage in exercise intervention programmes.

Bearing in mind that we are involved with technology in our daily lives we do indeed need to keep our mental facilities ticking for as long as possible to maximise our enjoyment of life and all it has to offer.

Now we know that exercise offer some Good News, so the question is, could you too do with a bit more exercise and maybe keep the little grey cells active and healthy for a few extra years?  Here are some simple exercises you could try.