CHHM researcher shows weight training improves cognitive function in seniors

CHHM researcher shows weight training improves cognitive function in seniors

Weight-bearing exercises may help minimize cognitive decline and impaired mobility in seniors, according to a new study conducted at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility (CHHM). 

The study, published on January 25, 2010 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, is one of the first randomized controlled trials of progressively intensive resistance training in senior women.  CHHM researcher, Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, shows resistance training can be beneficial for seniors, slowing cognitive decline while improving their strength and mobility.  This  significant research study has been featured in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Canadian Press among others.

Led by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, the research team found that 12 months of once-weekly or twice-weekly weight training improved brain function in senior women aged 65 to 75 years old. Specifically, the program enhanced the cognitive abilities necessary for independent living.

“At the CHHM we focus on research that will have a positive impact on the bone and joint health and enhance mobility in British Columbians and all Canadians,” says Heather McKay, Centre Director and professor in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. “Dr. Liu-Ambrose’s research provides a clear illustration of relatively simple interventions with a profound and immediate impact on the mobility and quality of life of older adults.”

Results from this study are available for immediate adoption by senior women seeking to improve their health as the doses of resistance training used meet the recommended criteria provided by the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for seniors.