Strength training and mental ability

Strength training or high-intensity progressive resistance training (PRT) improves cognition in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and these improvements are mediated through gains in strength, not aerobic capacity, a randomized trial indicates.

“Older adults commonly have symptoms such as musculoskeletal pain, claudication, or shortness of breath that may limit their exercise capacity,” Yorgi Mavros, PhD, University of Sydney, in Australia, told Medscape Medical News.

“And high-intensity PRT may improve these symptoms which may result in participants being able to achieve a higher workload before becoming fatigued, resulting in a better lung function,” he added.

Furthermore, approximately 50% of the loss iof lung function with ageing is explained by age-related muscle loss. By directly targeting the working capacity of skeletal muscle, PRT improves aerobic fitness.

“Thus, the increase in lung function is not necessarily due to improvements in fitness that would be observed with aerobic exercise but rather due to changes in skeletal muscle,” said Dr Mavros.

The study was published online October 24 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.