Aerobic Exercise Boosts Blood Flow to the Brain in Seniors

In a new study, researchers from UT Southwestern found that when older adults with mild memory loss followed an exercise program for a year, the blood flow to their brains increased.Aerobic Exercise Boosts Blood Flow to the Brain in Seniors

For their research, a team of scientists followed 70 men and women aged 55 to 80 diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. Participants completed cognitive exams, fitness tests, and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

The participants were divided into two groups and were randomly assigned to either follow a moderate aerobic exercise program or a stretching program for one year. The exercise program involved 3 to 5 exercise sessions per week, each with 30-40 minutes of moderate exercise such as a brisk walk.

Having analyzed the received data, researchers concluded that those who performed aerobic exercise showed decreased stiffness of blood vessels in their neck and increased overall blood flow to the brain.

The scientists also noted that the more their oxygen consumption increased, the greater were the changes to the blood vessel stiffness and brain blood flow. However, those who participated in the stretching program didn’t show any changes.

Exercising Is Good for Brain’s Gray Matter and Total Brain Volume

A new study from Mayo Clinic suggests that cardiorespiratory exercises, such as brisk walking, running, biking etc, are good for the gray matter and total brain volume. These regions of the brain are involved with cognitive decline and aging.Exercising Is Good for Brain’s Gray Matter and Total Brain Volumea

The study included 2,013 adult participants from two independent cohorts in northeastern Germany who were examined from 1997 to 2012. For the study, cardiorespiratory fitness was measured with the help of peak oxygen uptake and other standards,a and MRI brain data were analyzed as well.

Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist and first author of the editorial, says: “This provides indirect evidence that aerobic exercise can have a positive impact on cognitive function in addition to physical conditioning. Another important feature of the study is that these results may apply to older adults, as well. There is good evidence for the value of exercise in midlife, but it is encouraging that there can be positive effects on the brain in later life as well.”

Exercise Increases Brain Size, New Study

brain sizeA new Australian study found that aerobic exercise can improve memory and maintain brain health as we age.

Researchers from Australia’s National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University and the Division of Psychology and Mental Health at the University of Manchester in the UK examined the effects of aerobic exercise on a region of the brain called the hippocampus, which is critical for memory and other brain functions.

Brain health decreases with age, with the average brain shrinking by approximately five per cent per decade after the age of 40.

The researches included 737 people to study regularly viewing 14 clinical trials which examined their brain scans before and after aerobic exercise programs or in control conditions.

The researchers examined effects of aerobic exercise, including stationary cycling, walking, and treadmill running.

Overall, the results — published in the journal NeuroImage — showed that, while exercise had no effect on total hippocampal volume, it did significantly increase the size of the left region of the hippocampus in humans.


Compression Tights Won’t Help Runners to Run Faster

A new study, presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting, found that compression tights do not reduce muscle fatigue and do not help run faster.compression tights

For their research, a team of researchers had people run on a treadmill for 30 minutes at 80% of their maximum speed, once wearing compression tights and once without them. After the completion of the experiment, scientists found that the muscle vibration, reduced by the tights, didn’t have an effect on fatigue at all, and the runners could not go faster (or farther) while wearing the tights.

Lead author of the study Ajit Chaudhari says: “There is nothing in this study that shows it’s bad to wear compression tights.  Every little bit of perception counts when running long distances, so they may help runners in ways we aren’t able to measure.”

Aerobic Exercise Is the Best Type of Exercise for Your Brain

More and more studies, including two new studies published in the spring, find that any exercise, raising your heart rate and gets you moving and sweating for some period of time, or so-called aerobic exercise positively influence your brain, improving your memory, warding off stress, and boosting focus.aerobic exercise

Scientists say that the best type of fitness, for your heart and brain, is any regular aerobic exercise that you can do for at least 45 minutes at a time.

Joe Northey, a lead author of the British study and an exercise scientist and the University of Canberra, says that his research suggests that anyone in good health over 50 should do 45 minutes to an 1 hour of aerobic exercise on as many days of the week as feasible.

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