When your heart and lungs are functioning well, known as cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), then your memory too improves, especially among older adults, shows a study revealing newly-found relationship between the two though it is unclear about the impact on long-term memory.
In a study conducted by researchers at Boston University Medical Center showed that CRF has been directly related to enhanced cognitive and executive function in older adults.
The scientists from Boston varsity compared 33 adults aged between 18 and 31 and 27 older adults aged between 55 and 82. Participants were asked to complete testing exercise to evaluate their cardiorespiratory levels and neuro-psychological testing to test their memory, planning and problem-solving abilities. They were also asked to learn face-name associations.
The results found that older adults who had higher cardiorespiratory levels or fit in the CRF performed equally well as their younger counterparts in executive functions, though on long-term memory tests, younger adults performed better.
Another outcome of the study was that the older CRF fit adults performed better than low fit older adults, giving first such results that better physical fitness level is directly associated with improved memory and executive function. Among young adults, fitness levels had no big role on their memory or executive functions.
Researchers conclude that the effect of CRF is not limited to executive function, but also helps in extending memory as people grow old.
Scott Haynes, assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston varsity, said that their findings show that keeping oneself fit in terms of cardiorespiratory fitness or CRF may stop age-related memory or cognitive function decline. To be fit in terms of CRF, he advises older adults to enhance their physical exercise aimed at heart and lungs such as walking, dancing, yoga and other forms of inexpensive exercises daily to potentially improve quality of life.
The study has been published in the Journal of Gerontology.