Senior Fitness

Exercise and Older Adults: Protecting the Brain From Common Problems

Laura Quaglio
Laura Quaglio

As NASM Senior Fitness Specialists well know, older adults are a growing segment of the population—and a rewarding group to work with. Check out these amazing perks that your senior clients can enjoy, thanks to your work.

A Clearer Mind All Day Long

A 2019 Australian study found that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking—along with light walking to break up subsequent seated activities—improves working memory and executive function throughout the day (doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-100168).

Protection Against Alzheimer’s

In a group of 182 adults in the Harvard Aging Brain Study, those with higher levels of physical activity showed slower cognitive decline and slower loss of gray-matter volume (doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.1879).

Prevention of Post-Surgery Delirium

Up to 61% of older adults experience delirium after orthopedic surgery. In a study of 132 patients, those who typically engaged in regular exercise (walking, physical therapy, weightlifting, cycling, stretching, participation in noncompetitive sports and dancing) before this type of surgery were 74% less likely to experience delirium afterward (

Learn more about the NASM Senior Fitness Specialization.

Tags: Senior Fitness

The Author

Laura Quaglio

Laura Quaglio

Laura Quaglio has more than 18 years' experience as a writer and editor for magazines, books, and websites, frequently on health, fitness, and nutrition topics. She enjoys researching a wide range of topics to bring readers surprising insights and expert advice. Laura is also a second degree black belt and spends her spare time costuming for high school theatre and attending her two kids' concerts and performances.