Exercise benefits news: Poor physical fitness result to smaller brain

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According to a new study, people who exercise during their middle age have a greater chance of having bigger brains later on.

Former studies have already supported the idea that the brain of an individual shrinks as the age increases. A new research suggests that this can be prevented by physical exercise. In fact, those with poor physical fitness during the middle age are the only ones proven to have smaller brains later in their lives.

The research was conducted by studying almost 1, 500 people with an average age and all having no signs of heart disease or dementia. Each of the participants were undergone into a treadmill test and after twenty years, all of them underwent another test which involved MRI brain scans.

The result shows that for individuals who performed poorly in the treadmill test, smaller brains were associated to them in the later years. On the other hand, those participants who had high fitness levels during their middle age were more likely to have bigger brains.

The study also showed that smaller brains were linked to people who have frequent increase of blood pressure and heart rate during exercise sessions. This could also mean that those who were more prone to high heart rate and BP have a poor physical fitness routine.

In a statement, Nicole Spartano discussed the result of their research.

"We found that poor physical fitness in midlife was linked to more rapid brain aging two decades later. This message may be especially important for people with heart disease or at risk for heart disease, in which we found an even stronger relationship between fitness and brain aging," said by the author of the study who is also a graduate of doctoral degree at the Boston University School of Medicine.

The research which was already published in an online issue of Neurology strongly suggests that physical fitness should be promoted in the middle life of an individual.