Exercise, healthy nutrition can improve cognitive abilities & nbsp | & nbspFoto credit: & nbspThinkstock
New York: Only 35 minutes walking or cycling three times a week with healthy eating can improve cognitive skills in older adults, according to a new study. The study, published in Neurology, examined the effects of exercise and nutrition on cognitive skills.
For the study team, 160 people, with an average age of 65 years, participated in the study and accidentally assigned one of four groups – aerobic exercise alone, DASH diet itself, aerobic exercise and DASH diet, or health education, which consisted of educational phone calls once a week or two.
The research team found those who practiced and consumed dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) that had rich fruits and vegetables, beans, walnuts, low-fat dairy products, whole grains and curly meat, have better improvements in relation to health control education.
Participants who practiced showed significant improvements in cognitive skills compared to those who did not practice.
There was no improvement in participants who only consumed DASH foods, although those who practiced and consumed DASH food had better improvements in relation to health education.
"The results are encouraging, because in just six months, adding a regular exercise to their life, people with cognitive impairments without dementia improve their ability to plan and fill certain cognitive tasks," said co-author James A. Blumentha from Duke Universiti Medical Center in Durham.