Scientists from the University of Western Ontario found that older adults who engage in short bursts of physical activity can experience a boost in brain health even if the activity is carried out at a reasonably low intensity.
They found that bouts of aerobic exercise, as brief as 10 minutes, enhance the cognitive function of older adults. They also found that these benefits could be realized by those previously encouraged not to exercise.
The research was published in Brain Research and was conducted by Matthew Heath et al.
In the study, the team tested 17 older adults with an average age of 73.
They put participants through aerobic tests at moderate, heavy and very heavy levels of exercise intensity, and had them complete a pre-and post-exercise task to measure executive function.
They found that the boost in executive function was experienced by the participants at a variety of levels of exercise intensity.
These results suggest that people with limited to moderate levels of exercise intensity may experience similar cognitive benefits by simply being active for as little as 10 minutes.
The study also identified that the post-exercise boost to cognitive function was not limited to participants with high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness.
The team says discovering that the executive benefit of exercise can be experienced across the spectrum of exercise intensity, and also by people of all fitness levels, showcases how impactful exercise can be.
And the fact that the cognitive benefits of exercise can be realized almost immediately could increase the likelihood of people engaging in physical activity.
If you care about brain health, please read studies about a new drug to stop brain tumor growth, and scientists find a new way to treat deadly brain tumors.
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