Aerobic Exercise Benefits Your Brain as Well as Your Body

The coming holiday season can be stressful for some.  Here’s food for thought:

A new study finds that aerobic exercise inhibits inflammatory genes and boosts anti-inflammatory genes.  It also boosts genes that contribute to brain health.

Aerobic exercise – also known as “cardio” – is activity that stimulates your breathing and heart rate in a way that can be sustained throughout a workout.  Examples include walking, running, swimming and dancing.

By contrast, anaerobic exercise – literally “without oxygen” – is activity that causes you to quickly run out of breath.  Examples include sprinting and heavy weightlifting. (MedicineNet)

U.S. researchers studied a group of older adults through a program of either aerobic or stretch exercises over six months.  All participants were confirmed to have mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

“After a 6-month aerobic exercise-training,” the researchers report, “genes promoting inflammation became down-regulated, whereas genes having anti-inflammatory properties and those modulating immune function or promoting neuron survival and axion growth, became up-regulated.”

Furthermore, “these changes were not observed in the stretch group.  Importantly, the differences in the expression profiles correlated with significant improvement in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) in the aerobic program as opposed to the stretch group.”

Research equipment included an Agilent Bioanalyzer System to determine RNA integrity.

So to keep your mind active and healthy, don’t just work.  Work out!

For Research Use Only.  Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

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