When you grow old, staying physically fit is getting more and more important. Not only to keep a healthy body weight, but also to keep your brain in good condition.
This means that exercising your body and brain can have very great benefits on your mental health.
“The best medicine is physical activity,” lead researcher Ralph Martins told Reuters Health. “At the end of the day, the two together – physical activity and cognitive training – gave us an additional benefit,” said Martins, who directs the Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Care at Edith Cowan University in Perth.
In a study Martins and his colleagues have tested 172 people from ages 60 to 85 years. They have been tested in three groups. One group did a lot of physical training. Another group did hour-long computer brain-training exercises. A third group did both and the last group just maintained their regular routines.
The study shows that the group that did both physical and brain-training did improve verbal memory, which helps people remember words and language.
Even though there were many good results Martins and his team found that the research failed to show benefits for executive functions that control focus, attention to details and goal setting. They also didn’t find benefits for visual memory, processing speed or attention.
After all they found that physical training had the best effect on the groups.
According to Martins and his team, staying active is very important for people in all ages, but not at least for older people.