Numerous studies have shown that aerobics can improve cognition among the elderly, but a new study found that strong physical exercise also improves the thinking abilities of younger adults.
After 6 months of aerobic training, adults aged 20-67 years had improved executive functions – cognitive processes that are important for thinking, problem solving and problem solving – and an increase in gray matter in the brain region, an important material for these according to Reuters.
The study group in the Journal of Neurology reported that the comparison group, which had only undergone stretching exercises over the same period, did not achieve the same benefits.
"People think of mental decline as something that happens later in life," says Yakov Stern, a neuroscientist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. "But even at the age of 30, you need help," he said.
"Many studies show a decline in these jobs from the 1920s, so the message of this study is that aerobic exercises are really very important," he said.
In the absence of such studies in young adults and middle-aged adults, Stern and his colleagues used 132 volunteers aged 20 or older to participate in an experiment to analyze the effect of exercise on cognition and brain structure. None of the volunteers practiced aerobics before study
At the beginning of the experiment, volunteers underwent tests to evaluate executive functions, temporary memory, mental processing speed, language skills and concentration, and randomized them into two groups, one of aerobics and one of stretching and stretching.
At the end of the study period, the longitudinal training group had not seen a significant increase in cognitive abilities, while all ages in the aerobic exercise group had seen a significant increase in mental function – although older participants showed greater improvement than the younger participants.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) also showed an increase in the frontal cortex thickness of those who exercised "aerobics" at the end of the study, which lasted 24 weeks.
Kirk Eriksson, a professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, said the new study confirmed that exercise was "a very promising way to influence cognitive function."
Eriksson said the study "suggests that physical activity is a powerful drug to promote brain health and cognitive health throughout life."