Good Aerobic Health Could Make Word Recall Easier
The fact that exercise is essential to good health is no secret. You probably know that exercise can improve physical health in a number of ways. However, have you ever considered whether it might also be good for your aging relative’s brain? Recently, researchers at Britain’s University of Birmingham wondered how aerobic exercise might affect the ability to recall words.
About the Study.
The lead researcher, Katrien Segaert, is a language researcher and a psychologist. In her studies, she had observed a large variance in the language abilities of aging adults. This made her curious as to whether fitness played a role.
Many people occasionally find themselves temporarily forgetting a word or a name. It’s that feeling you get when a word is on the tip of your tongue. You know what the word means, but you can’t remember the word itself. Through the course of the study, the researchers found that older adults who were more fit experienced this inability to recall a word less.
The study involved 28 healthy older adults. The participants spent some time riding a stationary bicycle at their top capacity to measure how fit they were. They also had them take a language test in which they read the definition of a word on a computer screen and were asked to supply the word. Those who measured as more physically fit performed better on the word recall test. The results of the study indicate that there is a relationship between physical fitness and a major cognitive skill.
Good Forms of Exercise for Seniors.
Older adults may be reluctant to exercise because they fear injury or joint pain. However, there are many kinds of exercise that can improve fitness while still being safe and easy on elderly joints. Some excellent forms of exercise for older adults are:
- Swimming or Water Exercise: The warm water of a pool can be soothing on aching joints. Swimming and water aerobics are also low-impact.
- Yoga: Yoga is low-impact and the movements are gentle. Yet, it can still improve aerobic fitness, strengthen muscles, and improve mobility.
- Walking: Walking is gentle and free. It only takes a good pair of walking shoes and can be much more fun when done with a companion, like a dog or a friend.
Regardless of the form of exercise your aging relative chooses, a senior care provider can help in several ways. First, a senior care provider can encourage the older adult to remain active. Senior care providers can drive your loved one to a group fitness class. They can also go for walks with the senior to prevent falls and make the experience more enjoyable.