University of Texas researchers have shown that endurance exercise may help prevent cognitive decline, keeping your brain working fully as you age.
Researchers attempted to determine the correlation between a person's cardio fitness and cognitive function in middle-aged adults, and tested the participants by engaging them in moderate or strenuous aerobic exercise for at least four days or seven hours a week, while the sedentary subjects exercised less than one hour a week.
The result? People who exercised also displayed better vascular function, or blood flow in the brain, than the sedentary individuals. Dr. Martha Pyron, a co-author of the study, said that the findings suggest that middle-age runners not only have better cardiovascular function and health, but also enhanced cognitive performance particularly in the domains linked with age related cognitive decline and impairment.
The study concluded, "Habitual aerobic exercise ameliorates vascular health, an effect which may further translate into improved cognitive performance."
The study is published in the journal Medicine, and Science in Sports and Exercise