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The Mind Wins by a Nose, But the Heart Leads the Way

A recent study evaluated the effect of aerobic exercise on cognitive function and physical conditioning in young adults. The result? These boots are made for more than walking.

A randomized clinical trial published in the journal Neurology1 studied 132 cognitively normal adults between the ages of 20 to 67. The study looked at the effect of aerobic exercise over a 6-month period, 4 times weekly, on cognitive function and physical conditioning.

The researchers found that as a result of aerobic conditioning:

• aerobic capacity increased and BMI decreased

• executive function increased significantly and was more pronounced as age increased.

• cortical thickness increased significantly in the left frontal region and was not related to age

The bottom line

When patients ask about a good drug to prevent cognitive impairment, you might want to say, “Yeah, it’s called exercise!”


1. Stern Y1, MacKay-Brandt A2, Lee S, et al. Effect of aerobic exercise on cognition in younger adults: A randomized clinical trial. Neurology. 2019 Jan 30 [Epub ahead of print].