— even in young and middle-aged adults. The study, published in the journal Neurology, involved 132 adults between the ages of 20 and 67. The study led by researchers at Columbia University in the US indicates that aerobic exercise training improves cognition in younger adults, suggesting that exercise can prevent or slow the appearance of at least some age-related cognitive changes.
After 24 weeks, there was significant improvement in executive function in the aerobic exercise group for participants of all ages, and the greater the participant’s age, the greater the improvement in executive function. Executive function underlies many day-to-day activities. For example, paying a bill requires planning, organising, and shifting from one related task to another.
These activities rely on intact executive function. Several aerobic exercise studies in older adults have noted comparable changes in the frontal lobe, suggesting that aerobic exercise has a beneficial effect on a brain area that is associated with executive function.