Should we be exercising for body and mind? Researchers at Canada’s University of Montreal published a new study in the scientific journal Neurobiology of Aging that links exercise to increased cognitive function in aging adults.
The study sampled healthy adults in two different age groups, one of which was considered the young adult group (comprised of adults aged 18-30) and the other considered the older adult group (comprised of adults aged 55-75). Every adult in the study underwent both a physical test and a mental test. The physical test was designed to measure the fitness level of the adult while the mental test was designed to measure the cognitive abilities of the adult.
The participants were placed in MRI scanners throughout the mental task to measure brain activity and blood oxygen levels. Additionally, the participants were scanned to measure the stiffness of their aorta. The aorta is the largest blood vessel inside our system that is responsible for distributing oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. The researchers found that although age is related to declines in cognitive and physical fitness, a clear link exists between a healthy heart, physical fitness, and better brain function. The findings enhance the established belief that our lifestyle choices and behaviors can have a large impact on our bodies as well as on our minds.
To take full advantage of these findings in everyday life, keep in mind that exercising will not only decrease your risk of heart attack and help you maintain a healthy heart, but it will also keep your mind sharper and blood flow to your brain stronger. To read more on the latest health news from Medical News Today, visit their website here. To read the University of Montreal’s announcement of the study, visit their website here.