Exercise may help improve mental performance in adults with mild memory problems, research suggests
A University of Melbourne team tested the impact of a home-based physical activity programme on 138 volunteers aged 50 and over with memory problems.
Those who took part showed a modest improvement in cognitive function compared to those who did not.
The Journal of the American Medical Association study suggests exercise may help ward off severe mental decline.
Exercise is known to help keep the cardiovascular system healthy, and may help boost cognitive function by boosting blood supply to the brain.
Writing in the journal, the researchers said: "Unlike medication, which was found to have no significant effect on mild cognitive impairment at 36 months, physical activity has the advantage of health benefits that are not confined to cognitive function alone, as suggested by findings on depression, quality of life, falls, cardiovascular function, and disability."