Just 35 minutes of walking or cycling three times a week teamed with a healthy diet may prove to do wonders for the cognitive skills of older adults, says a new study that was published in the journal Neurology. For the study, the team of researchers examined the effects of both exercise and diet on cognitive skills of the participants.
In the study, the team analysed 160 persons with an average age of 65 and randomly assigned them to one of the four groups -- aerobic exercise alone; DASH diet alone; both aerobic exercise and the DASH diet; or health education, which consisted of educational phone calls once every week or two.
The findings revealed that those who exercised and consumed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet were found to have more significant improvements compared to health education controls. DASH diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean meats. It is slowly becoming one of the most popular diets in the world of health and Nutrition
It should also be noted that participants who exercised had significant improvements in cognitive skills when compared to those who did not exercise.
The study noted that there was no improvement in participants who only consumed the DASH diet. Those who exercised and consumed the DASH diet had greater improvements compared to health education controls.
"The results are encouraging because in just six months, by adding regular exercise to their lives, people who have cognitive impairments without dementia improved their ability to plan and complete certain cognitive tasks," said co-author James A. Blumentha from Duke University Medical Center in Durham.
(With Inputs IANS)