As the population ages, the ability to do all that we used to do with ease begins to decline. Our memory, the ability to preform tasks and our attention to detail slowly decline. We have a choice, we can sit and calmly accept that this is how it is going to be, or we can do something about it. Research has shown us that we can fight this gradual decline with exercise. Research shows that aerobic exercise (cardio) and resistance training (exercise that causes the muscles to work against some type of force that resists your movement) between 45 and 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity can help with memory, attention and our ability to execute tasks. The improvements were even seen in individuals who started to exercise after being diagnosed with previous memory impairment. If aerobic exercise and resistance training seem too daunting, Tai Chi was found to have similar benefits, which is great for people who may be limited in some other forms of exercise(1).
Exercise therapy is also one of the top forms of non-pharmacological treatment for managing the pain associated with arthritis. As we age, wear and tear on our joints (most commonly the knees and hips) results in the thinning of the protective lining covering the bones at the joint. The bone tries to repair this damage by building, however, this often makes things worse if the bone grows abnormally. Pain and instability are commonly the result of arthritis. Proper exercise therapy may help mange this pain and improve the functioning of the joint. This improvement may last weeks to months following cessation of the exercises(2).
So if you forgot where you left your cars keys last night, or your knees are telling you that it is going to rain today you should speak with your chiropractor, medical doctor or therapist about an exercise routine that could help improve your overall quality of life.
(1) Northey JM, Cherbuin N, Pumpa KL et al. Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2018;52:154-160.
(2) Fransan M, McConnell S et al. Exercise for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. A Cochrane systematic review 22009;3:CD007912