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New Study Shows Cognitive Benefits of Regular Exercise; Standards Support Every Step


It's common knowledge that incorporating a regular exercise routine into your schedule helps to improve your physical health. A recent study gives insights into even more health benefits, showing that those who met a designated level of physical fitness had improved memory, reasoning, sharpness, and judgement. Participants in the study were asked to walk as quickly as they could for two minutes, and researchers measured the distance they covered. Those who walked farther also demonstrated improved cognitive performance.

Whether your primary goal is physical results, cognitive results, or both, exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle. American National Standards (ANS) have long given structure to some of the equipment and accessories that allow everyone to work up a sweat, no matter their physical abilities or age.

For many, the simplest way to exercise is to strap on a pair of sneakers and go for a walk or jog around the block. While seemingly simplistic, a brisk daily walk can prevent or manage a number of health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Keep your feet, knees, and back feeling good during these walks with supportive footwear - shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel, and soles that cushion and absorb shock. ASTM F1976-13, Standard Test Method for Impact Attenuation of Athletic Shoe Cushioning Systems and Materials, is an ANS developed by ASTM International, a member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This guideline describes the use of a gravity-driven impact test to measure characteristics of cushioning systems and materials used in the soles of athletic shoes, both in the heel and forefoot regions of the shoe.

Some people find that walking or running puts uncomfortable pressure on the joints, or causes pain or "bad knees." Physical therapists often recommend swimming as an alternative workout that is low-impact, but high-intensity - that is, it reduces or removes the impact of your body striking something solid, like a sidewalk, but still requires a high amount of exertion and therefore provides a good cardiovascular workout. Swimming can also help prevent injuries by taking weight off your joints while you exercise. ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) has many standards to guide the safe construction and maintenance of pools in homes and facilities, including this ANS: ANSI/APSP/ICC 1-2014, American National Standard for Public Swimming Pools. This document covers public pools available for swimming, bathing, competitive activities, and recreational activities.

People of all physical abilities benefit from incorporating more movement into their lives. Exercisers with physical impairments may face challenges in their workouts, but with the right equipment or modifications, many enjoyable kinds of physical activity are possible. The

"" target="_blank">Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) is an ANSI member and accredited standards developer that has produced numerous guidelines on adaptive equipment that avails physical activities to those with disabilities. ANSI/RESNA ASE-1:2016, RESNA American National Standard for Adaptive Winter Sports Equipment - Volume 1: Winter Sports Equipment, guides sit-skis, mono-skis, and bi-skis that enable skiing in a sitting position for individuals with lower extremity limitations, including skiers with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, and other conditions. Use of these adaptive devices facilitates an upper body workout that benefits the body and brain alike.

Standards support exercise for all Americans, so keep your body active and your brain sharp!


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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