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Another Reason Cardio Doesn't Suck

Aside from building a strong heart and lungs, cardiovascular exercise can age-proof your brain.

You want to look young, feel young, and stay young. We hear you. To help you do just that, we've shown you anti-aging foods to help keep you youthful, skincare tips to fight fine lines and wrinkles, and more. Now we’ve got another anti-aging tip to add to your arsenal: Do cardio to age-proof your brain. 

Here's why: Researchers from the Boston University Medical Center measured the cardiorespiratory fitness of young adults (18-31) and older adults (55-82) as they exercised on a treadmill, and then compared images of their brains from MRI scans. 

According to their findings, cardiovascular fitness positively impacted the white matter (a component of the central nervous system that affects how the brain learns and functions) in the older adults' brains. This, in turn, lessens age-related cognitive decline (read: forgetting where you put your keys. Or what you had for dinner last night.) 

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The researchers caution, “…additional research is needed to track changes in fitness and brain structure over time, as well as clarify the impact of specific exercise programs (such as strength, aerobic or combined training) or dose of exercise (frequency, intensity, duration) on white matter microstructure.” But this research does provide evidence and motivation to work in those runs and rides (even if weight lifting is your priority.)

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