Here is more news about aerobic fitness impacting on memory and cognitive function, concluding that there is a definite association between fitness and a slower decline in mental performance in later life.
It was reported in the Journals of Gerontology that a study, using data compiled from tests on 1,400 subjects ranging from 19-94 years in age, taking baseline measurements of their VO2 max (the amount of oxygen taken in by the lungs during a set period of strenuous exercise) and correlating those against "subsequent tests of memory, attention, perceptuomotor speed, language, and executive function" concluded that those people who had better fitness had better mental performance over time.
The study, The Baltimore Longditudinal Study of Ageing, was able to say that there was a correlation between better fitness and better thinking and memory skills but could not definitely say that fitness was responsible.
After the initial measurements of both fitness and cognitive performance, the subjects were subsequently tested up to seven later and found that " Individuals with lower VO2max demonstrated accelerated trajectories of cognitive decline over time".
Deborah Barnes, a researcher in psychiatry at University of California, said that "The key message here is that being more physically fit may help someone keep their memory sharper with age. Now the challenge is to get people to go out and exercise".
That may be true of the population at large, but anyone who considers themselves a member of the Silver Grey Sports Club won't be lacking in motivation. This study will only fuel their conviction that as well as enjoying the sport for which they undergo their training, they are also enjoying the benefits of that training in other areas of their lives.
The study was carried out by Carrington Wendell and a team at the National Institute on Ageing in Maryland, USA.