Research favors aerobic exercise for providing cognitive benefits across the lifespan. In a new study published in the journal of Neurology researchers tried to determine the efficacy of aerobic exercise for cognitive function in younger healthy adults. The study recruited 132 cognitively normal individuals aged 20-67 with below median aerobic capacity and randomly assigned to a six month stretching and toning group or an aerobic exercise group.
Executive function improved significantly in the aerobic exercise group. Furthermore, gains were more pronounced in those aged 60 vs those aged 40. The suggestion is that aerobic exercise may protect against age-related cognitive declines. Increased cortical thickness suggests that aerobic exercise contributes to brain health in individuals as young as age 20.