Aerobic exercise helps mental health in over 50s

12 weeks study shows improved brain function and cognition


by News
senior runners

A new study in the journal Frontiers in Aging on Neuroscience found that people age 50 and older who did aerobic exercise may help keep their minds sharp as they age.

For the study, 37 sedentary adults age 57 to 75 with normal brain health were randomly assigned to an exercise or control group. The exercise group performed 60 minutes of supervised aerobic activity three times a week for 12 weeks. Blood flow to the brain, cognition levels, and markers of fitness were measured at the start, six weeks in, and at the end of the study.  

The researchers found that aerobic exercise improved subjects’ brain function and cognition. The benefits were linked to increased blood flow to the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, and increased flow to the anterior cingulate region, an area linked to superior cognitive abilities in later life.

“This research shows the tremendous benefit of aerobic exercise on a person’s memory and demonstrates that aerobic exercise can reduce both the biological and cognitive consequences of aging,” said Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D., director of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas and the study's lead author.

Chapman added that exercise may be one of the most beneficial and cost-effective therapies widely available to anyone for improving brain health.

Check out our guide to essential Brain Food to keep that grey matter in top shape.


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