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Group Fitness

Exercise Boosts Memory Immediately After Training

University of Maryland researchers found that healthy adults ages 55–85 did better on a memory task just after a moderate exercise session than they did after resting. Measurements of brain activity showed significantly more activation in memory-related areas of the brain immediately following physical activity.

Rethinking Training to Exhaustion

It’s common for athletes, musicians and other professionals to train repetitively to fatigue in seeking to improve their performance. When it comes to mastering a motor skill, however, new research shows that intensive repetition to the that subjects who had trained to fatigue experienced detrimental changes in motor skill learning, but not in performance of mentally demanding tasks.

Exercise and Jet Lag

Maybe you’re familiar with using bright-light exposure to shift your body clock so you can overcome jet lag more quickly. But what about exercising to achieve the same goal? Researchers at Arizona State University and the University of California, San Diego, found that exercising at 7 a.m. or between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. was effective for advancing the body clock, whereas training between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. worked to delay the clock. “Delays or advances would be desired . . .

Healthy Lifestyle and Dementia

A healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, a healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption and no smoking can significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia, even for people with genetic risk factors.

High-Cadence Cycling and Recreational Cyclists

A recent study supports indoor cycling instructors who urge students not to pedal at a cadence above 90 revolutions per minute. Researchers found that at 90 rpm and beyond, pedal forces exerted by recreational cyclists decreased, heart rate increased by 15%, and exercise efficiency and skeletal muscle oxygenation declined.

The study appeared in the International Journal of Sports Medicine (2019; 40 [5], 305–11).

Muscular Strength and Mental Well-Being

In a study of midlife women in Singapore, weak upper- and lower-body strength was associated with depression and anxiety. Researchers analyzed data from 1,159 healthy women ages 45–69 for physical activity, physical performance, lifestyle choices, reproductive health, sociodemographic characteristics, and depression and anxiety symptoms. Weak handgrip strength and poor lower-body strength were associated with elevated symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Fifteen percent of participants reported depression and/or anxiety.

High-Volume, High-Intensity Exercise Is Safe for Men

No need for concern about increased death risk from heart disease among experienced middle-aged exercisers who engage in high-intensity activity, at least if they’re male. Findings from a 10-year study of 21,758 generally healthy, very active men—like marathon runners, cyclists and swimmers—showed that even for those with higher coronary-artery calcium levels, athletic pursuits did not elevate risk of death.

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