Weight training is better than aerobics in keeping women sane in old age says a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

According to the researchers, resistance training improves cognitive function in women who have experienced mild cognitive decline.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Center for Hip Health and mobility at Vancouver Coastal Health and the University of British Columbia.

The researchers followed some 86 women with mild cognitive decline who were put on an exercise routine for six months. They were divided in to three groups. The first group performed an hour of resistance training (including weights) twice a week, the second group performed aerobic exercise twice a week and the third group acted as “control” and performed “balance and tone.”

After 6 months, all the participants were given tests to measure growth in their cognitive skills. It was found that women in the “resistance-training” group did far better than the women in the balance-tone workout or aerobics.

“Most studies have looked at aerobic training, but this study compares both aerobic and strength training, and among people who don't yet have dementia but are already at a high risk in terms of mild memory and executive function impairment, our study shows that strength training, but not aerobics training, does have benefits for cognition,” said Teresa Liu-Ambrose, assistant professor in the department of physical therapy in British Columbia and the co-author of the study.

“The present results suggest that a consistent protection for all levels of physical activity against the occurrence of cognitive decline,” write F. Sofi and colleagues in a related study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine analyzed the online literature available for “physical activity” and cognitive decline.