Comparing the effects of acute aerobic exercise on cognition in older adults
LE3 .A278 2020
Bachelor of Kinesiology
In a rapidly aging Canadian society, the prevalence of chronic disease has become a major health concern. With a large number of the population be over the age of 55, Canada is experiencing a surge of age-related declines in cognitive functioning including memory, attention, and processing speed, with an increase in cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. Pharmaceutical options have been explored, however, this is placing a cost-burden on the Canadian Healthcare System. Safe and cost-effective alternatives need to be implemented to reduce this burden and improve overall quality of life. It is well-known that regular physical activity has immense physiological and psychological benefits. Aerobic training, in particular, can improve central and peripheral aspects of cardiorespiratory fitness. It has also been found that moderate and high intensity aerobic exercise can improve cognitive functioning in older adults, specifically executive function. This is important for slowing cognitive decline, as executive function is the first aspect of cognition to deteriorate, but it is also the first to improve with exercise. An acute bout of high intensity interval exercise (HIIE) and moderate intensity continuous training (MICE) have been found to improve cognitive function in older adults, however the appropriate intensity and duration remains unclear, as well as the mechanisms explaining these improvements. This study is looking to investigate the differences in cognitive performance following an acute bout of HIIE and MICE, with the aim of discovering the safest and most promising dose-response relationship to slow cognitive decline.
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