Exercising can boost older men’s brains


The research suggests that cardio-respiratory fitness is measured by how well and how much oxygen is being delivered to the muscles of a person when he or she exercises.

Older men can keep their brains active and give them a boost if they exercise regularly. According to a new study, the relationship between physical and brain fitness varies in older adults by virtue of their gender. The study has been published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

The research suggests that cardio-respiratory fitness is measured by how well and how much oxygen is being delivered to the muscles of a person when he or she exercises.

It adds that the fitness level of human beings is related to changes in the nerve tissues of their brains, which is called grey matter. It is also associated with better cognitive function in later life.

There have been many studies before this one which had found cardio-respiratory fitness to be associated with how the brain of a person functions when it is at rest. As a person ages his nerve connectivity in the brain deteriorates during resting periods. The earlier studied had suggested that such changes could affect cognitive function negatively.

However, “the neural basis of sex differences in the relationship between fitness and brain function in older adults has not been directly explored,” news agency ANI has quoted researchers from York University and McGill University in Canada, in their report.

To conduct the study, the researchers studied one group of men and another of women, both having average ages of 67. The daily physical activity level of the participants was recorded and the research team also noted their height, weight, age, sex and resting heart rate so that their cardio-respiratory fitness could be determined.

The imaging tests of the participants’ brains were also monitored in order to record their nerve function. It was found that men have higher cardio-respiratory fitness levels than women. However, women were found to have higher local network efficiency and lower global network efficiency than men.

“Our findings that (cardio-respiratory fitness) is associated with brain function in a sex-dependent manner underscore the importance of considering sex as a factor when studying associations between exercise and brain health in older adulthood”, ANI quoted from the research.

 

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