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Open AccessArticle

Improvement of Attention, Executive Functions, and Processing Speed in Elderly Women as a Result of Involvement in the Nordic Walking Training Program and Vitamin D Supplementation

1
Department of Health Psychology, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, 80-336 Gdansk, Poland
2
Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, 80-309 Gdansk, Poland
3
Department of Recreation and Qualify Tourism, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, 80-336 Gdansk, Poland
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Department of Biochemistry, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, 80-336 Gdansk, Poland
5
School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, Italy
6
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, 80-336 Gdansk, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061311
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
Research indicates that life satisfaction declines with age, and cognitive abilities are gradually reduced—mainly attentional functioning and cognitive processing speed. Therefore, scientists seek to find protective factors and test possible intervention programs; moderately intensive physical activity stands out as particularly promising. In this context, we evaluated the influence of Nordic Walking training supported by vitamin D supplementation (as this nutrient is especially deficient in older people in Poland) on the cognitive and psychological functioning of elderly women. A total of 52 healthy elderly women took part in a Nordic Walking training program complemented by vitamin D supplementation. Cognitive functioning was assessed with the Trail Making Test and the D2 Test of Attention. Quality of life and severity of depressive symptoms were measured with the Short Form Health Survey and the Beck Depression Inventory 2. Significant improvements in all aspects of cognitive functioning was observed (p = 0.01–0.47). The study also showed a decrease in depressive symptoms (p = 0.026). Physical activity and adequate levels of vitamin D can be the key factors in maintaining self-reliance in old age. Involvement in Nordic Walking training, supported by vitamin D supplementation, can strengthen the cognitive functioning of older people—reflected in higher attentional capabilities, better executive functions, and improved cognitive processing speed. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; Nordic Walking; nutrition; supplement; performance; cognitive functions aging; Nordic Walking; nutrition; supplement; performance; cognitive functions
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Lipowski, M.; Walczak-Kozłowska, T.; Lipowska, M.; Kortas, J.; Antosiewicz, J.; Falcioni, G.; Ziemann, E. Improvement of Attention, Executive Functions, and Processing Speed in Elderly Women as a Result of Involvement in the Nordic Walking Training Program and Vitamin D Supplementation. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1311.

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