Wolf Total Fitness
Big Bear Lake
April 16, 2011
A study done at the University of Hamburg looked at the differential effects of cycling vs. stretching/coordination exercises in 68 sedentary men and women, ages 40 to 56. Subjects were randomly assigned either to an aerobic endurance training class (cycling) or a nonendurance training (stretching/coordination). Both groups exercised twice a week for 6 months. A sedentary control group (who did no exercise) was used for comparison. At the beginning and end of the experiment all subjects were tested for cardiovascular fitness and a range of cognitive skills, including memory, perceptual speed, executive functions (abstract thinking), and spatial reasoning. The researchers found significant improvements in memory in both the cycling and stretching/coordination groups as compared with the sedentary control group which they believed was the result of an increase in cardiovascular fitness. The stretching/coordination exercise further improved their ability to focus attention selectively (focus and switching back and forth) as compared with the cycling. They concluded that cardiovascular fitness has beneficial effects on thinking abilities, but most especially on attention and memory, even in high-functioning middle-aged participants.
What does this means to us? That it’s not too late! And, that I don’t have to kill myself getting in shape – just work out twice a week strengthening cardiovascular stamina, either with aerobics, such as Zumba, or with stretching and coordination, such as like yoga. We’ve got it all here. So what are you waiting for????
Lorraine Wolfe, Ph.D
Reference: (Hotting et al, Health Psyhcology, 2012, Vol. 31, No.@, 145-155; available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21895371)