Home Life Style Memory Gap in Older Women May Be Treated By Regular Aerobic Exercise

Memory Gap in Older Women May Be Treated By Regular Aerobic Exercise

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Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic Exercise

Experts have continuously talked about the benefits of exercise but do you actually realize how aerobic exercise could actually benefit you? A recent study has shown that regular aerobic exercise can improve memory of older women.

What is Aerobic Exercise?

Aerobic exercise is a type of exercise that conditions the heart and the blood vessels. This type of exercise utilizes oxygen the most through breathing; this makes muscles burn more fuel and makes them easier to move. Aerobic exercise has several health benefits. It improves cardiovascular functioning, decreases heart disease risk, lowers blood pressure, increases HDL or good cholesterol, controls blood glucose levels well, helps maintain ideal weight, improves the function of the lungs, and decreases resting heart rate that also lowers blood pressure and prevents heart complications.

Before you perform exercise, you should talk first to your doctor about whether exercise is proper for you. You may have limitations that may not enable you to exercise well. If you suffer from hypertension, diabetes, lung problems, arthritis, heart disease and other health conditions, you should seek your doctor's opinion first before you embark on any physical activity. If you suddenly develop symptoms such as joint pains, confusion, jaw pain, shoulder pain, chest pain, chest tightness, difficulty of breathing and other problems while exercising, you should stop exercising and contact your doctor.

Examples of low-impact aerobic exercise include swimming, cycling, walking, roaming, and using exercise machines. Examples of high-impact aerobic exercises include jumping rope, running and other high impact exercises. Guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise for about 5 to 7 days per week which can be broken down into periods consisting of 10 minutes each. These exercises can reduce the risk for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol and other medical problems. These exercises assure you to burn a lot of calories to keep yourself fit and trim for life.

As you exercise with moderate to high intensity, your heart rate also increases. The heart rate often varies from one person to another in terms of fitness level, environment, genetic makeup, and tolerance of the individual to exercise. Your doctor should determine your exercise ranges based on your fitness level. If you are taking blood pressure medications and medications for heart disease, you should consult your doctor first before exercising. Your heart rate should determine your exercise intensity.

Before exercising, it is necessary to warm up. Warming up before exercise involves stretching and increases in pace and exercise intensity. This allows increased blood flow within the body and decreases the likelihood of acquiring joint or muscle injuries. This warm-up session should last for about 5 to 10 minutes. After exercise, a cooling down session should be started which should have the same time as that of the warm-up session. The pace should gradually decrease during the cool-down session and there should be stretching exercises.

After the warming-up session, exercise should gradually progress based on individual exercise tolerance. This can be done by increasing speed, increasing resistance and increasing duration.

Exercise and the Brain

A recent study has shown that regular aerobic exercise is able to boost the size of the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in memory and learning, among older women. The results of this study were published in the recent edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. In this study, the researchers studied the impact of exercise on hippocampal volume of 86 women aged 70 to 80 years old. The results showed that hippocampal total volume was significantly larger in older women who had regular aerobic exercise than those who only did muscle toning and balance exercises.

You can read more about exercise and memory in our other articles on this site.