The best way for seniors to ward off Alzheimer's disease may be to head to the gym and bee-line for the weights.
The University of British Columbia released a new study on Tuesday linking strength training to better brain function.
Eighty-six older women, all already demonstrating early signs of dementia, were observed by researchers. Some took weight training courses, while others took aerobics and a third group did exercises for toning and balance.
After six months the group that lifted weights showed the biggest improvement in memory, attention span, problem solving and decision-making.
The discovery was backed up by a series of MRIs which showed changes in parts of the brain associated with cognitive behavior.
The question now is why that is. Researchers say it may not be the weights, but how you think about them. Compared to simple walking or running, progressive strength training requires greater attention — counting your reps, watching your form. As lifters increase the number and size of their weights, their brains are exercised even more.