PFTL NEWS JULY 2022

FREE WALKING CLINIC HAS BEGUN

Trainer Linda Meyer and I have resurrected the free Walking Clinic.  We meet at the top of the Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park every Friday at 5:30pm.  This is an hour of walking, stairclimbing, calisthenics and balance training, followed by stretching. Participants must be able to walk at a moderate pace.  Faster walkers are also welcome and we usually have two groups, one for moderate walkers, and one for faster walkers.

Participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver if they are not already PFTL clients. Please notify Debora at debora@pftl.net if you plan to participate.

LATE FEES TO BE ADDED

Regretfully, we will have to start adding a late fee to invoices that are not paid on the due dates.  Our business depends on receivables especially since the pandemic.  We have not raised prices for personal training since 2012, even though our operating expenses are increasing dramatically. 

Beginning June 20, we will be adding an automatic 3% late charge to invoices that are not paid within 3 days after the due date.   Most invoices are payable 15 days after clients receive them; so if we have not received payment by the 18th day, the late fee will be added.

Some clients have opted to have the monthly invoice amount charged directly to their credit card. If this is of interest, please contact Jenn Carrasco at carrascojenn8@gmail.com to make this arrangement.

IN-HOME AND VIRTUAL TRAINING COSTS TO INCREASE AUGUST 1

As indicated above, business operating expenses for PFTL have been increasing steadily for the past wo years, and we have not raised prices since 2012 (except for Group Training).  We must now increase the cost of some types of training.  While the majority of clients are coming to the studio, we do not plan to increase the cost of in-person, one-on-one personal training at the studio.  We will, however, be moderately increasing the cost of In-Home, Virtual and Group Training.

Beginning August 1. 2022, In-Home training will be raised to $100/hour for current clients ($105-$110 for new clients).  Virtual Training will be raised to $78 /hour.  Group Training will increase to $150 for each 6-week session ($25 per session).  If you would like to discuss this, please contact me at (847) 722-2115.

RESEARCH: PETS AND WELLNESS (Excerpt from IDEA Fitness Journal Spring 2022)

Numerous studies have shown the positive effects that animals can have on our lives. Yes, improved physical fitness is one benefit!

According to a study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, walking dogs promotes engagement in and adherence to regular physical activity. Another study noted that, on average, dog walkers spent 22 minutes more per day walking compared with people who didn’t own a dog.

Having a pet is believed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, according to the CDC (2021). Research also suggests that cat owners are 30% less likely to have a heart attack and nearly 40% less likely to have a stroke.

For people recovering from joint-replacement surgery, Fido could help them depend less on pain pills and potentially heal faster. People who used pet therapy—the guided interaction between a person and a trained animal—while recovering from this type of surgery used less pain medications than those without a pet.

And what about stress? A March 2022 poll released by the American Psychological Association found that 87% of those surveyed said that their “mental health was greatly affected by what has felt like a constant stream of crises without a break over the past 2 years”. This is yet another reason why pet ownership can be more than just rewarding. It’s potentially lifesaving.

Five Ways Pets Improve Mental Health (from American Heart Association 2021)

  1. A reduction in work-related stress. Two out of three employees say work stresses them out, and 40% say their job gets in the way of their health. Studies show that pets in the workplace help reduce stress and improve employee satisfaction.
  2. An increase in productivity. When a dog joins a virtual meeting, group members rank their teammates higher on trust, team cohesion and camaraderie.
  3. Pets help manage anxiety. Pets provide companionship and support, which helps people who are struggling with mental health.
  4. More exercise, better health. Pets provide a reason to get outside, get some fresh air and get active, which is proven to improve mood, sleep and mental health.
  5. Pets provide a sense of togetherness. This special bond helps people feel less alone. When owners see, touch, hear or talk to their companion animals, it brings a sense of goodwill, joy, nurturing and happiness.

WATER WALKING WORKS (Excerpt from IDEA Fitness Journal Spring 2022)

Did you know that science has established that low cardiorespiratory fitness is an independent predictor for cardiovascular disease and all causes of death? The good news is that even a small improvement in aerobic capacity has been shown to decrease mortality from cardiovascular disease. But not all land-based exercises that improve aerobic capacity work for all people! For some older people and those at risk for falls, water-based exercise programs and water walking are a good option. That’s because of the lower gravitational forces and reduced impact on the skeletal system.

What does the research say? Two studies compared the aerobic benefits of land walking and water walking.  The water was chest-deep and warm (about 80 degrees); the land was level, paved or grass.

Results: Thumbs Up for Water Walking! – Maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max) improved equally in both exercise groups—about 4% as compared with the control group. That’s important because your VO2max shows how well your heart and veins push blood to your muscles and the rest of your body. Knowing your VO2max can help you measure fitness and heart health improvements over time.

An improvement of this kind of VO2max is an indication of a meaningful improvement in heart health. As your VO2max increases, you become an overall healthier person. Researchers also saw a significant difference in body composition in the percentage of trunk and upper-body fat.  Both walking groups (land and water) also saw a significant decrease in visceral fat, the fat pattern associated with major diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance).

Interestingly, the water-walking group showed a significant improvement in lower-limb lean muscle mass. Researchers propose that this may be because water walking may offer a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise.

The bottom line is that water walking is as effective for health as land walking is. It’s a safe option for many older people—and those at risk of falls—to consider.

PFTL News June 2022

FREE WALKING CLINIC STARTS JUNE 17

Trainer Linda Meyer and I will be resurrecting the free Walking Clinic, which has not met for the past two years.  We will meet at the top of the Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park every Friday, starting June 17 at 5:30pm.  This is an hour of walking, stairclimbing, calisthenics and balance training, followed by stretching. Participants must be able to walk at a moderate pace.  Faster walkers are also welcome and we usually have two groups, one for moderate walkers, and one for faster walkers.

Participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver if they are not already PFTL clients. Please notify Debora at debora@pftl.net if you plan to participate.

LATE FEES TO BE ADDED

Regretfully, we will have to start adding a late fee to invoices that are not paid on the due dates.  Our business depends on receivables especially since the pandemic.  We have not raised prices for personal training since 2012, even though our operating expenses are increasing dramatically.  We do not plan to increase the cost of in-person personal training at the studio.  We will, however, be looking at in-home and virtual training for possible increases.

Beginning June 20, we will be adding an automatic 3% late charge to invoices that are not paid within 3 days after the due date.   Most invoices are payable 15 days after clients receive them; so if we have not received payment by the 18th day, the late fee will be added.

Some clients have opted to have the monthly invoice amount charged directly to their credit card. If this is of interest, please contact Jenn Carrasco at carrascojenn8@gmail.com to make this arrangement.

FAQS ABOUT WHAT YOU WOULD LOOK LIKE IF YOU LOST WEIGHT (from Livestrong.com 6/3/22)

1. How Does Weight Loss Change Your Appearance?

You can’t target weight loss to one area of your body, so if you drop pounds, you’re losing weight everywhere, according to the ACE. As a result, you’ll likely notice your entire body slimming down as you shed fat.

However, exactly how much your size changes depends on how much weight you lose. Losing 5 pounds, for instance, may not have as big an effect on your appearance as losing 15 pounds. Similarly, how long it takes to notice weight loss depends on how much fat you shed relative to your initial weight.

And how does weight loss affect your face? Similarly, your face will slim down as the rest of your body loses fat.

2. How Does Weight Loss Affect Your Skin?

If you lose a significant amount of weight (typically 100 pounds or more), you may have excess skin that is too stretched out to fit your new body size, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And this sagging skin may not have the elasticity to shrink, in which case you may require cosmetic procedures or surgeries to tighten or remove excess skin.

You may also notice some skin changes from more moderate weight loss. For instance, stretch marks that developed as you gained weight may become more visible as you shed fat.

Stretch marks typically appear as pink, red, black, blue or purple streaks on your body, per the Mayo Clinic, so if you notice differences in your skin color as your weight changes, this may be the reason why. Fortunately, they’re harmless and may fade with time.

3. Why Doesn’t It Look Like I’ve Lost Weight?

If the number on the scale is dropping but you aren’t losing inches around your waist, there are a few potential explanations.

First, you may be losing visceral fat, the more dangerous type of fat that surrounds your internal organs and ups your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because it’s deeper in your core, you may not notice a change in size right away.

Second, you may be losing muscle or water weight instead of fat. This is not ideal, and can happen if you lose weight too quickly, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. To avoid this issue, stick to the expert-recommended weight-loss pace of 1 to 2 pounds a week.

4. What Does 20 Pounds of Weight Loss Look Like?

Remember, weight loss is relative. For example, 20 pounds of weight lost will look different on someone who’s starting weight was 150 pounds versus 300 pounds.

Instead of getting hung up on the numbers, focus on the wins that don’t relate to your physical appearance.

BONE HEALTH IS VITAL!  (from IDEA Fit Tips May 2022)

Last month was National Osteoporosis Awareness Month. The bad news: You can’t fix your genetic and environmental contributors to bone loss. The good news: Exercising and ensuring adequate levels of calcium and vitamin D intake can help improve bone health.

To strengthen your bones, use these strategies from Maria Luque, PhD, teacher at the College of Health and Human Services at Trident University International and owner of Fitness in Menopause.

Food and Bone Health – Proper diet develops skeletal strength and maintains the bone’s role as a mineral storehouse. Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which the body must have to perform every day, are stored in bone. If the body can’t get these minerals from our diet, it takes them from our bones, reducing bone mass and strength (OSG 2004).

Getting that calcium from food is preferred over taking supplements. While eating dairy products is the most efficient way to get enough calcium, you can also get it from other food sources. Consuming calcium on its own, however, is not enough. Proper absorption of calcium also depends on sufficient vitamin D intake.

Exercise and Bone Health – Physical activity can influence both bone and muscle metabolism. Osteogenesis (bone formation) occurs in response to mechanical loading. Inactivity, with its lack of loading, prevents bones from receiving the signal to adapt, which causes bone loss.

Walking – Many studies have shown that walking has only a limited impact on bone. If combined with impact and resistance training, however, walking can help maintain bone mineral density (BMD) in the hip region and in the lumbar and sacral spine In people over 65, increasing daily steps by 25% has been associated with an increase in hip BMD.

Progressive Resistance Training (PRT) – PRT has proven to be the most effective way to increase BMD in women and older adults and to maintain BMD in men. Resistance training also improves muscle mass and strength both of which are crucial to bone formation as well as fall prevention, which becomes a more pronounced risk in older adults.

Emphasize exercises that target posture muscles, such as back and spinal extensors, as well as those that increase strength in functional movements, such as stair climbing or box squats.

High-Impact Exercise – Activities that produce a weighted impact on the skeleton are especially bone producing. The most effective ones induce high-magnitude strains in bone at a high rate.  Brief, high-impact exercises such as hopping, skipping and jumping can increase BMD, muscle strength and power.  Adding unilateral and multiplanar components—such as single-leg hopping or side, front and back hops—can improve balance and proprioception, two key factors in fall prevention.

PFTL NEWS AUGUST 2021

RETURN TO MASKS IN THE STUDIO

With the advent of increased cases of infection with the Delta variant in Cook County, we have reinstated a mask requirement at the studio. Everyone, even if vaccinated, will be required to wear a mask (unless for medical reasons this is not possible).

This is consistent with the recommendations from the CDC, IDPH and the Cook County Department of Public Health.

I know this is not welcome news for anyone, but the safety of our clients and trainers is our primary concern.  Hopefully, this will not be necessary in the long term.

WHAT YOUR WALKING SPEED SAYS ABOUT YOUR HEALTH (excerpt from Livestrong.com 7/20/21)

Your walking speed can tell you more about your health than you might think. Walking is the most popular aerobic physical activity among Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s a good thing because it not only offers its own set of health benefits, but your walking speed can also be an indicator of how healthy you are.

Being able to walk at a quick pace, as opposed to a slower one, indicates that your body is functioning properly, says Naresh Rao, doctor of osteopathic medicine.  “If you’re walking faster, you have better core musculature, balance and endurance, which can indicate good cardiovascular health,” says Rao.

“So it’s reasonable to think if you can walk faster, then you’re generally in better shape.” He also says that, as long as all other factors are equal, faster walkers will likely have less body fat, lower BMIs, more muscle and better balance.

Walking can indicate more than just how physically fit you are. Research shows that walking speed might just be a strong predictor of longevity, surgery recovery speed and more.

Your walking speed might predict your life expectancy. Walking speed (also known as gait speed) seems to indicate how long a person will live. “As gait speed declines, risk for mortality increases,” says Christina M. Dieli-Conwright, PhD, an assistant professor of research with University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.

A June 2019 study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that walking pace — defined as slow, steady/average or brisk — was the strongest predictor of how long a person would live, with a slow pace being associated with shorter life expectancies. A female slow-walker could expect to live to be between 72 and 85 years old, whereas a brisk-walking woman could live to 87 or 88. For men, the slow walkers’ life expectancy ranged from 65 to 81, while the fast walkers lived to be 85 to 87.

Your walking speed could be a sign of heart health. A 2018 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine also explored the link between walking speed and mortality rate and found average walkers (which the researchers defined as walking at a pace of below 20 minutes per mile) had a 20 percent lower risk of dying over the course of the study compared to slow walkers.

Those who walked faster than 18 minutes per mile had a mortality rate that was four percent lower. Interestingly, these results appeared to be linked to lower heart-related deaths among faster walkers, since walking speeds didn’t seem to affect cancer rates.

 A November 2017 study published in European Heart Journal also found slow walkers had more heart-related issues. The researchers found slow walkers were twice as likely to die from heart disease compared to faster walkers.

Faster walking speed could mean fewer hospital visits. A June 2019 study published in Blood assessed nearly 450 patients with blood cancer and found walking speed predicted the survival rates as well as the chances that patients would return to the hospital. Every 0.1 meter per second decrease in walking speed was linked to a higher mortality rate. A slower pace also increased the likelihood the patient would return to the hospital for unplanned visits and emergencies.

Walking speed has been linked to the health of your brain and body. An October 2019 study published in JAMA Network Open found that “the walking speed of 45-year-olds, particularly their fastest walking speed without running, can be used as a marker of their aging brains and bodies.” Those who walked faster had healthier lungs, teeth and immune systems than slower walkers. Plus, slower walkers showed signs of accelerated aging.

How to Determine Your Walking Speed: 

Curious to know if you qualify as a brisk walker or a slow one? To calculate your walking speed, walk naturally down a hallway or sidewalk and count the number of steps you take in 10 seconds. Multiply that number by six. That will tell you your steps per minute.

A 2018 review of 38 studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine noted the goal pace for people younger than 60 should be greater than 100 steps per minute, or 2.7 miles per hour. That pace isn’t particularly strenuous; researchers noted this should be an achievable target for healthy adults. Older adults likely will see similar benefits at a slower pace, but there’s no research yet to say exactly what that pace is.

Caveats to the Research:  Dieli-Conwright, who has studied exercise’s effect on cancer patients, says it’s not only about how fast you walk or have always walked but if your walking speed changes. “As soon as individuals start to have a decline in gait speed, it’s a strong indicator that they’re losing physical function and they’re losing overall health,” she says. “Even if they’re a fast walker and they experience a decline in gait speed, that’s going to have an effect on their health outcomes.”

Rao also notes that a slow walking speed doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not fit, but it’s a good idea to take your speed as a signal that you need to amp up your exercise routine.

The reverse is also true: Being a fast walker doesn’t mean you’re in perfect health, and a fast walker could still have high blood pressure. “It’s not enough to walk fast,” says Rao. “My fear is that people will say, ‘I walk fast, therefore I don’t need to exercise,’ and that’s not true.

Rather, consider walking speed one indicator of your health — but not the only one. “Just like anything, it’s only one piece of data,” says Rao.

PFTL News September 2020

PFTL UPDATE  

Clients who have returned to the studio have reported that they feel very safe in the space. We will continue to monitor all people who enter the studio, require masks and wipe down all surfaces constantly.

As of August 28, the Chicago Tribune reported “Cook County is among the 30 counties the Illinois Department of Public Health sounded the alarm about Friday for a resurgence in coronavirus cases. hat’s the largest number of counties that had reached “warning level” since the agency began issuing those weekly reports earlier this summer, and the first time Cook County has been on it. The warning level applies to suburban Cook County and does not apply to the city of Chicago.

We are aware that several clients would like to return, but do not feel comfortable wearing masks while exercising.  I hope we can relax this requirement sometime in the future, however, it is too early to do that yet. 

WHAT WALKING REVEALS ABOUT YOU (from WebMD Good Health 8/20/20)

Walking is a complex process. It involves your body from head to toes, including several parts of your brain. Some strides do more than just get you from point A to point B. Your gait, posture, and pace may also be broadcasting clues about your health and personality.

Longer life: Studies on people over 65 show that a natural need for speed when walking tends to mean you’ll live longer. But it doesn’t work in reverse; you can’t expect to extend your years if you push yourself to move quickly. It’s likely a slow stride reflects underlying issues that may be taking a toll on your overall health.

Anxiety: When you’re tense and worried, you’re less likely to be right — when you walk, that is. Researchers tracking peoples’ movements as they walked blindfolded found that the more stressed someone felt, the farther left they strayed when aiming for a target straight ahead. This may be because the right side of your brain is working harder to handle your doubts and dread.

Mechanical trouble: It’s normal for a young kid to walk on their toes as they learn to be upright in the world. But if that doesn’t stop as they get older, it can mean their Achilles tendon is too short to let their heel touch the ground comfortably. Or it could be a sign of muscle issues like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. Toe-walking is also common in kids with autism.

Osteoarthritis: An unexpected or unnoticed injury could cause a limp, but it could also be a sign of something more. If you’re favoring one leg over the other, or if your legs seem to be buckling from time to time when you walk, you may be showing symptoms of the type of arthritis that wears away your joints over time.

Alcohol abuse: The line-walking test that police give possible drunk drivers on the side of the road can help you tell whether someone’s brain is able to keep them steady when they walk. Alcohol abuse can lead to things like muscle weakness and loss of your sense of orientation. This causes an uneven, stumbling walk, even if you’re not drunk. After you give up drinking, you’ll likely get better at moving around, though it may take a while.

Weak muscles: If it looks like you’re climbing invisible stairs, you may have foot drop. This typically causes your toes to drag as you walk, and you may step higher to make up for it. It’s more common for only one foot to be floppy, but sometimes it can affect both. It may mean you’ve injured a nerve in your leg, or it could be a sign of a nerve, muscle, brain, or spinal disorder like muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis.

Brain injury: Do you rock back and forth to keep it together as you walk? Assuming it’s not an alcohol problem, you may want to have a doctor take a look at your head. A knock to your noggin can cause mild brain damage that makes the world spin for a while. Athletes, take note — this is common among people who play contact sports.

Bad back: It might mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing! When you’ve pulled a muscle or have a herniated disc in your lower back, you’re likely to turn your chest and shoulders to match your hips as you stroll, to avoid twisting. Your arms will sway with your legs as you walk briskly, instead of the opposite hand and foot being ahead of you at the same time. Depression: This mental illness may feel like a heavy weight on your shoulders, and your walk can show it. It’s not unusual for depression to make you walk with slow, short steps. Luckily, it’s not permanent — you’ll get more pep in your step as your mood improves. Studies show you can even lift your spirits by walking briskly, as if you were happy. Your posture helps reroute your thoughts toward the positive.

WALKING FOR A GOOD CAUSE

The Rotary Club of Wilmette will be holding a Walk-a-thon, “Walk For COVID Relief” fundraising event starting October 1 – 10. This will be a personal event for anyone who wants to walk to raise money for COVID Relief.  Volunteers will pledge to walk 10 miles in 10 days (or any amount they can) and get their friends and neighbors to pledge $2-10/mile walked.  Tee shirts will be given to walkers and they hope to get some photos for their Facebook and Instagram postings.

 Participants can sign-up to walk on the Rotary website, wilmetterotary.org just by clicking the blue and red button. Entrance fee is $25 for students, $50 for adults and $100 for families.

 COVID has been difficult for everyone, but especially those in need, the homeless, the disabled, the elderly, the economically disadvantaged.  Donate what you can and let your friends know they have a way to help the Wilmette Rotary Club to help others.

I would love your support!  Put on your walking shoes, OR pledge to support me in my walk. Contact me for pledges or more information about the Walk-a-thon.  Debora Morris 847 722 2115 or debora@pftl.net

PFT News May 2019

EXERCISES TO HELP ACHIEVE AN INSTANT POSTURAL ADJUSTMENT

(From IDEA Fitness, April 2019)

Did you know that good posture helps minimize stress on tendons, joints and ligaments? Plus, better posture can have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Good posture may improve your job prospects, verbal communication, self-confidence and mood and enhance how others see you. Ryan Halvorson, chief content officer for Fit Scribe Media and a TriggerPoint®master trainer, explains exercises that can help you improve posture.

5 Key Exercises – These easy-to-implement, equipment-free exercises can help you achieve an instant postural adjustment. The moves can be done seated, but standing yields the best results.

Pectoral Massage – Tight chest muscles can make it difficult to pull your shoulders back and down. One way to overcome this is to increase tissue mobility through self-massage.

Begin by rolling the shoulders back and down. Make a fist with the right hand and gently press the knuckles into the left pectoral muscle next to the sternum. Place the palm of the left hand on top of the fist for added pressure. Slowly drive the knuckles across the muscle toward the shoulder joint. Lift the hand, returning it to the starting position, and repeat.

Shoulder External Rotations – Internal rotation is a common problem. External rotation can help. Roll the shoulders back and down. Tuck the pelvis slightly to maintain a neutral lower-back position throughout the exercise. Slowly twist the wrists until the thumbs point away from the body. Hold for a few seconds and release; repeat.

Chin Tuck – This exercise stretches the muscles of the neck, allowing the skull to return to a more neutral, balanced position while the spine is lengthened. Stand with your hips and shoulders against a wall. Heels can be an inch or two away from the wall.

Lifting through the crown of the head, gently bring the chin down toward the throat while pressing the back of the head against the wall for a few seconds. Rest and repeat. Place a pillow behind the head if the pressure is uncomfortable.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch – Start in a kneeling lunge position (one knee on the floor and the other leg bent 90 degrees in front of you with foot flat). Lift from the crown of the head to elongate the spine. From here, drive the hip of the kneeling leg in a gentle thrusting pattern to achieve the stretch. Hold for a few seconds, then release and repeat. Perform the exercise several times for both hips. Place a pillow under the knee for added cushion.

Hip Hinge With Fly – This exercise improves your ability to extend your upper back. Place feet hip-width apart, and hinge at the hips while simultaneously angling the upper body forward. Aim to slightly arch the lower back by lifting the tailbone. Retract and depress the shoulder blades.

Start with the arms extended and palms clasped together directly in front of the chest. Then slowly swing the arms out to the sides of the body at about shoulder height with a slight external shoulder rotation, and pause when you feel contraction in the upper posterior muscles and a stretch in the pectorals. Release and repeat.

 

EXERCISE SUSTAINS MENTAL ACTIVITY         (Excerpted from PsychCentral August 2018

From a review of studies on exercise and its effect on brain functioning, researchers confirm that physical exercise slows the effects of aging and helps people maintain cognitive abilities well into older age

Fitness training – an increased level of exercise – may improve some mental processes even more than moderate activity, say the authors of the review. Findings from the review of 40 years of research does offer evidence that physical exercise can have a positive influence on cognitive and brain functions in older animal and human subjects. Different methodologies were examined to comprehensively study what effects exercise can have.

The researchers first examined the epidemiological literature of diseases to determine whether exercise and physical activity can at certain points in a person’s lifetime improve cognitive ability and decrease the likelihood of age-related neurological diseases, like Alzheimer’s. Based on a review of the epidemiological literature, the authors found a significant relationship between physical activity and later cognitive function and decreased occurrence of dementia. And the benefits may last several decades.

In a few of the studies that examined men and women over 65 years old, the findings showed that those who exercised for at least 15-30 minutes at a time three times a week were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease, even if they were genetically predisposed to the disease. By examining the human intervention studies, a relationship was also found between fitness training and improved cognition, more efficient brain function and retained brain volume in older people

Other studies confirmed the evidence that fitness does have positive effects on brain function in older adults. A study of older adults who were randomly assigned to either a walking group or a stretching and toning control group for six months found that those in the walking group were better able to ignore distracting information in a distractibility task than those in the control group. Aerobically trained older adults showed increased neural activities in certain parts of the brain that involved attention and reduced activity in other parts of the brain that are sensitive to behavioral conflict.

More research is needed to know exactly how much and what types of exercise produce the most rapid and significant effects on thinking and the brain; how long exercise effects last following the end of training; or how much exercise is needed to get continued benefits.