Aerobic exercise is a form of vigorous physical activity that requires the heart and lungs to work harder to meet the body’s heightened demand for oxygen. Many fitness buffs consider running, cycling and swimming as aerobic exercises.
Regular aerobic exercise makes your heart grow stronger and gives it the power to pump more blood with each stroke. This means that a strong heart doesn’t need to pump as fast to meet the demands of the physical regimen.
According to a research conducted by the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht, the Netherlands, aside from the boost it give to your heart and lungs, indulging in aerobic exercise has an added bonus: it gives you brain power. It also helps to facilitate healthy aging and improve the memory and mental health of older people.
Another significant finding that the researchers noted is the ability or regular cardiovascular exercises to boost your cognitive function, motor function, cognitive speed and your auditory and visual responses.
The improvement of your mental function is a result of the enhanced cerebral blood flow which increases the metabolism of your brain, says lead researcher Maaike Angevaren. This triggers the production of neurotransmitters and the development of nerve cell junctions, called synapses.
Another important benefit your brain can get from regular cardiovascular exercise is normal blood pressure. According to a separate research conducted by doctors at Howard University Hospital in Washington DC, controlling blood pressure and keeping it within the normal level is helpful in minimizing the occurrence of cognitive decline due to old age.
Using data provided by the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), a team of independent researchers led by Dr. Thomas Olabode Obisesan conducted an investigation to determine the association of high blood pressure to reduced cognitive function in people between the ages of 60 and 74. Their study results suggested that normal blood pressure was clearly a big factor in the best cognitive performance of the participants between 60 to 69 years old.