before and after the exercise sessions, all participants were tested to measure their aerobic fitness levels and their ability to concentrate and complete computer tasks. researchers assessed the change in aerobic fitness, memory, and concentration abilities in response to the exercise regimen.
what the researchers found
while aerobic fitness increased in both the hiit and mct groups, memory improved only in the hiit group after the exercise routine, although there were small improvements in concentration in both the hiit and mct groups. in the stretching group, aerobic fitness and memory did not change. participants with the greatest improvements in aerobic fitness had the greatest improvements in memory.
the bottom line
a 12-week hiit program can improve memory and aerobic fitness in older adults. aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can slow the decline of structural changes in the brain and can lead to improved brain function, such as memory. however, the best level of aerobic exercise intensity for stimulating these brain function changes in older adults is unknown.
this article was written for the canadian society for exercise physiology by katie kowalski, csep-cep, doctor of physical therapy. this article summarizes the study kovacevic a, fenesi, b, paolucci e, heisz, jj. the effects of aerobic exercise intensity on memory in older adults.
applied physiology, nutrition and metabolism.
. this summary was written for the canadian society for exercise physiology and has been reviewed by the csep knowledge translation committee.