A recent study indicated that acute aerobic exercise improves cognitive flexibility in adults. The current study assessed age, habitual physical activity, and physical fitness as moderators of this improvement and examined whether the gains still exist an hour after the exercise session. The alternative-uses test, assessing cognitive flexibility, was administered individually to 20 older (age 63.67 ± 3.55 yr) and 19 young (age 23.9 ± 1.22) women before, immediately after, and an hour after a single moderate aerobic-exercise session. Results indicated significant improvement in cognitive flexibility in the older group immediately after the exercise but a decrease at the 1-hr follow-up. Further analysis indicated that physical fitness accounted for this improvement (R = –.622, p < .01). No such differences were observed in the young group. Further studies are needed to examine the duration of this effect, as well as the role of physical fitness as a moderator of it.
Yael Netz, Esther Argov and Omri Inbar
Yael Netz, Rebecca Goldsmith, Tal Shimony, Yosefa Ben-Moshe and Aviva Zeev
The trend of extended life expectancy along with a sedentary lifestyle is typical in Western cultures.
To explore adherence to physical activity recommendations in older adults in Israel.
A random sample of 1,536 Jews and 316 Arabs age 65+ were interviewed and divided into sufficiently active, insufficiently active, and inactive groups based on official guidelines.
Only 36.4% of the Jewish sector and 19.6% of the Arab sector are sufficiently active. Men are more active than women, the secular are more active than the religious among both Jews and Arabs, and more years of education, a higher income, and fewer diseases and medications are related to higher levels of physical activity.
To slow down biological age decline with physical activity, intervention programs specifically tailored for culturally diverse groups are suggested—for example, recruiting prominent religious leaders to promote physical activity in religious populations.