A study published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling or climbing stairs, may improve thinking skills not only in older people but in young people as well.
The specific set of thinking skills that improved with exercise is called executive function. Executive function is a person’s ability to regulate their own behaviour, pay attention, organize and achieve goals.
Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, says:
From existing research including our own, we know that exercise is one of the best ways to lower your dementia risk.
'With one million people living with dementia by 2021, research into prevention is key. This research adds to what we know by suggesting that aerobic exercise – like swimming, running, or hillwalking – can boost thinking skills at all ages. The benefits may even be greater in later life, so it’s never too late to dust off those trainers!'