Alzheimer's DementiaBalance TrainingElderlyExercise

Benefits of balance and tone exercise in older women

Researchers at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada studied the effects on cognitive function.

First, the details.

  • 155 elderly community-dwelling women were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Once-weekly resistance training
    • Twice-weekly resistance training
    • Control: Twice-weekly balance and tone training
  • Performance on the Stroop test — an executive cognitive test of selective attention and conflict resolution — was recorded, as well as a battery of other tests.
    • The Stroop Task is a psychological test of mental (attentional) vitality and flexibility.

And, the results.

  • Both resistance training groups significantly improved their performance on the Stroop test compared with those in the control group.
  • Task performance improved 13% and 11% in the once-weekly and twice-weekly resistance training groups, respectively.
  • It deteriorated by 0.5% in the control group.
  • Enhanced selective attention and conflict resolution was significantly associated with increased gait speed.
  • Both resistance training groups demonstrated significant reductions in whole-brain volume compared with the control group at the end of the study.
    • This technique is a method of detecting early whole brain and gray matter volume loss associated with early dementia.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, ā€œ12 months of once-weekly or twice-weekly resistance training benefited the executive cognitive function of selective attention and conflict resolution among senior women.ā€

3/29/10 22:06 JR

Hi, Iā€™m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.