Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose is an award-winning, widely-published researcher and professor in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Physical Therapy. She is a Tier-II Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility, and Cognitive Health; the Research Director of the Vancouver General Hospital Falls Prevention Clinic; the Director of the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory; and an associate member of the UBC Brain Research Centre and the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility.
She is a recipient of the Royal Society of Canada’s Alice Wilson Award (2006), the CIHR Institute of Aging Recognition Prize in Research in Aging (2005 & 2011), the MSFHR Career Investigator Award (2006), and the CIHR New Investigator Award (2011).
Dr. Teresa Ambrose is well-regarded internationally for her research focusing on the role of exercise in promoting healthy aging and demonstrating the cognitive benefits of resistance training in older adults. Her work has been featured in mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, and the Wall Street journal.
- Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose at the University of British Columbia
- Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose on Linkedin
- Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose on YouTube
In this episode, we cover:
- How exercise affects and improves overall brain health
- The benefits of walking, movement, and mobility-related activities in addition to HIT
- How to get people more engaged in exercise, particularly the older population
- The benefits of resistance training for older adults
- … and much more!
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: Have you tried motivating an older friend or family member to try resistance training to improve his or her health? How did it go? Please let me know in the comments at the bottom of this post.
Click the link below to listen from the exact time stamp on Overcast:
- Why does the research community at large seemingly regard resistance training as being of less importance when it comes to improving cognitive function in older trainees? [6:05]
- Teresa talks about the numerous cognitive benefits of resistance training and exercise [9:03]
- Why is higher-intensity resistance training more effective and beneficial compared to lower-intensity exercise? [10:18]
- Is increasing resistance, Time-Under-Load (TUL), or volume enough to induce the desired physiological cascade? [16:58]
- Teresa talks about the potential benefits of high-intensity resistance training versus aerobic training in improving cognitive function after a stroke [19:32]
- What other training protocols are beneficial for improving cognitive health? [22:03]
- Would a combination of walking (or other mobility exercises) and resistance training provide more cognitive health benefits versus doing either exclusively? [23:23]
- How does resistance training benefit the brain? [25:07]
- Can moving frequently in general provide the same cognitive benefits as frequent, consistent walking? [28:17]
- On how exercise and resistance training can help you age well (and why it’s okay for older adults to do resistance training) [32:12]
- Teresa talks about how they control for subjective variables such as social factors in group studies [33:18]
- Does adding aerobic exercise to resistance training provide additional benefits versus just doing resistance training by itself? (And how to motivate older men and women to comply with resistance training) [35:55]
- Are there any studies planned on looking at the cognitive health benefits of exercise in younger populations, and why does this matter? [40:20]
- What is Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose’s workout routine like? [42:58]
- What has Teresa changed her mind about recently when it comes to exercise and cognitive health? [44:19]
- Is there anything that Teresa believes to be true, but can’t yet prove? [45:55]
- What is one thing that Teresa would like to have people do to care for and improve their own cognitive health? [47:17]
Selected Links from the Episode
- Neurobiological effects of physical exercise
- Study: Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory
- Study: The Effects of Aerobic Activity on Brain Structure
- Study: The Influence of Exercise on Cognitive Abilities
- Study: Resistance training promotes cognitive and functional brain plasticity in seniors with probable mild cognitive impairment: A 6-month randomized controlled trial (Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose et al.)
- Physiological Cascade
- Study: High- and low-intensity exercise do not improve cognitive function after stroke: A randomized controlled trial (Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose et al.)
- Walking linked to improved brain function
- Study: Aerobic exercise promotes executive functions and impacts functional neural activity among older adults with vascular cognitive impairment (Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose et al.)
- Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)
- Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1)
- Study: The Effects of Aerobic Exercise Intensity and Duration on Levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Healthy Men
- Precision Medicine
- Global Council on Brain Health | GCBH Recommendations on Cognitively Stimulating Activities ( Read the Article / Watch the Summary Video / Download the report PDF )
- Study: Resistance Training and Executive Functions: A 12-Month Randomised Controlled Trial (Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose et al.)
Andrew May says
Great episode again. I was particularly interested in the intensity threshold aspect discussed along with the mechanistic sides of different modalities. The part about learning new techniques being good for the brain has got me thinking too (pun intended).
Andrew May says
The part about movement resonated for me anecdotally too, looking at my extended family ageing. Especially as I’ve been sat down for probaly 6 hours today…..
“Infrequent strength training / frequent movement” – Skyler Tanner 😉
Thank you Andrew. Pleased you enjoyed it.