- Low-intensity physical activity such as “gentle stretching” may not have the same neuroprotective benefits as moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise (e.g., brisk walking).
- In older adults, the brain benefits of exercise may be linked to activity that maintains higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF).
- Cardio workouts that require a some “huffing and puffing” may increase cerebral blood flow and reduce carotid arterial stiffness, a new one-year study reports.
- Increased cerebral blood flow and reduced arterial stiffness keep the brain well-oxygenated and nourished, which may help to offset cognitive decline over time.
Although there’s some debate about whether or not staying physically active without breaking a sweat can improve cognitive performance during midlife, a growing body of evidence suggests that, as we age, regular aerobic exercise training (AET) at a moderate-to-vigorous level of intensity keeps healthy amounts of blood pumping through the brain and may help to offset cognitive decline.