Exercise is a great way to keep your brain healthy as you age. So, it should be no surprise that lifting weights may protect you against memory loss. In fact, according to a group of Australian researchers, hitting the weights as little as twice a week may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Per the study which involved 100 men and women, ages 55 to 86 — all diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)—a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease in which people have noticeably reduced memory or thinking abilities, but are still able to live independently — were divided into two groups: resistance training and seated stretching combined with calisthenics. Each group was then to complete their assigned regimen twice a week for six weeks.

Those assigned to strength-training used a weight machine, working to at least 80 percent of their peak strength during each session. As their strength increased, so did the weight. Meanwhile, those assigned to the latter group, used a computerized brain-training program in addition to following a basic exercise routine.

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