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Exercise – especially aerobic exercise – may be good for the brain.
A new study out of South Carolina tracks people who were in a field study with mentally healthy adults as they completed an aerobic or stair tower run. The researchers found that the volunteers who ran three times per week were better able to identify and look at pictures compared to those who only ran on weekends.
The study also found that the more the participants ran, the better their visual sharpness.
Principal investigator Dr. Molly Gulick, Associate Professor of Psychology at the College of Charleston, says the results can help with cognitive tests in older individuals.
“In our data and in the literature there is an increasing sense that we need to emphasize what exercise may be doing for us when we are young, at least at healthy ages, because we are using it much later in life. Older adults are usually overweight, older adults are often in chronic pain, so there are a lot of elements that need to be accounted for when we talk about exercise and cognition.”
Dr. Gulick says the benefits of increased exercise in midlife and for older adults is still in the early stages.
A longer future study looking at after age 50 will be needed to confirm this.
This study was published this week in the journal Science.
Click HERE to listen to Dr. Gulick’s interview on Fox Nation.