By Laura Kemp • 10 February 2022 • 18:07
A study from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society discovered that older adults who participate in exercises that engage the mind and body can show improvements in several important characteristics of brain function including memory, learning and verbal affluence.
Clinical psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences, Neda Gould Phd, said of the findings: “A novel aspect of this study is the way it combined several therapies that incorporate both the mind and the body.”
Researchers found that tai chi, pilates and different forms of dance engage both the mind and body, keeping people healthy and improving cognitive function.
Researcher at the University of Chinese Medicine in Guangzhou, Chunzhi Tang, said: “We found out that mind-body exercises, especially tai chi and dance, are beneficial for improving global cognition, cognitive flexibility, working memory, verbal fluency, and learning in cognitively intact or impaired older adults.”
“Moderate intensity is recommended as the optimal dose for older adults.” Moderate intensity is defined as 60 to 120 minutes of mind-body exercise each week.
Researchers noted that “Good executive function can help older adults make appropriate decisions, focus on important details, store information in working memory, and shift tasks.”
These mind-body exercises improve cognitive flexibility – one of the brain’s main functions – defined as the brain multi-tasking and thinking of multiple concepts at one time. Another is task shifting, which is being able to unconsciously shift our attention from one task to another.
These types of exercise can also help with balance and body strength.
For anyone who is looking to try new forms of exercise that help the mind, as well as the body, tai chi, pilates and dance have all proven to be the superior options for older brains.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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