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Mar 062012




“Enhancing Cognitive Fitness In Adults A Guide to the Use and Development of Community-Based Programs” (Editors Paula E. Hartman-Stein and Asenath La Rue, 2011) presents a cornucopia of information in the 499 page book. This author was able to obtain the book through interlibrary loan.

The book is divided into 5 Parts. Part I presents “Research Foundations for Cognitive Wellness Interventions”. Part II consists of “Community-Based Programs to Enhance and Sustain Healthy Aging”. Part III is named “Enhancing Cognition Through Arts”. Part IV is titled “Cognitive Wellness Interventions for Adults with Memory Impairment”. And Part V is “Gaining Through Giving Back : Programs with a Positive Societal Impact”.  

Chapter 15 (the second to last chapter in Part II) is titled “The Role of Physical Activity in Cognitive Fitness : A General Guide for Community Programs” authored by Edward S. Potkanowicz. The “Summary” on page 247 concludes :

“The consensus in the literature is that older adults who possess higher levels of cardiovascular fitness demonstrate better cognitive function. While no one mode of exercise has been deemed preferential or more effective, participating in an activity program that has as its goal the improvement of cardiovascular fitness has been shown to be beneficial to the cognitive abilities of the older adult. While there are still many questions that need to be answered, the recommendation for the community program coordinator, the exercise leader, or the individual is that making regular activity a part of every day life of the older adult is a safe and effective way to positively impact cognitive function. Additionally, activity for the sake of cognition may lead to activity for the sake of health and healthy aging overall.”   

The reader may choose to note that aerobic (type activity/) training does seem to be emphasized over strength training in spite of at least some identified research showing that combined aerobic training and strength training does produce greater improvement compared to aerobic fitness training alone (as was shown to be supported by research and pointed out in the previous article in The Hygiology Post). One possible explanation for this emphasis may be that aerobic exercises may be relatively physically easier to do than strength training exercises especially for individuals (older adults) who are at greater risk for and/or have experienced cognitive decline.  

The Hygiology Post welcomes feedback from readers as to whether the articles (individually and/or collectively) help fulfill its vision and mission.


Louis DeCola, Jr.                                    © 2012 The Hygiology Post