A regular exercise routine can cause us to be physically fit but also mentally fit. This follows from the results of a new study in which adults who were previously sedentary underwent four months of physical exercise. In the end, their main cognitive functions (the ability to think, remember and make quick decisions) had improved significantly.
Blood flow to the brain increases with exercise. Thus, broadly speaking, the more fit one is, the more it tends to be increased.
The pilot study, conducted by the team of Dr. Martin Juneau, director of preventive medicine at the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada, focused on adults, with an average age of 49, who were sedentary and overweight.
Dr. Juneau and colleagues measured the volunteers’ cognitive function using neuropsychological tests. They also measured their body composition, blood flow to the brain, cardiac output, and its capacity to support the exercise.
After the initial examination, the subjects began to do two sessions per week of exercise bike and weight. After four months, as expected, weight, body mass index, body fat mass and waist circumference were significantly lower, while their ability to exercise increased.
What is striking is that the efficiency of cognitive function had also increased, according to the results of the new tests. These mental improvements were proportional to changes in the physical exercise capacity and body weight. In essence, the more exercise a person got, the better their cognitive efficiency.
It is normal for aging there is a decline in cognitive functions. This decline may be worse for people with coronary disease. It is encouraging to know that it is possible to prevent at least some of that decline through the strategy of exercising and losing the extra kilos.