Elderly couple riding bicycles in a park.

Having regular exercise, cycling, walking or climbing stairs, can improve thinking skills in both older and young people.

The executive function, a set of thinking skills, that involve a person’s ability to control their behavior, organize and achieve goals and pay attention is improved by regular aerobic exercises.

In a study published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology revealed that the positive effect of exercise on thinking skills may increase as people age.

The six month period research brought together 132 participants aged between 20-67 who were considered to be below average in fitness level.

The participants were grouped into two in accordance with their age, sex, education, memory and thinking skills were assigned different exercising activities.

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The researchers discovered that those who participated in aerobic exercise increased thinking skills with overall score of 0.50 points. Those who did toning had increased their executive function by 0.25 points.

According to Yaakov Stern, the study author of Colombia University, the research found an increase in the thickness of the outer layer of the brain in the left frontal area in all those who exercised.

“At the start of the study the thinking skills of the older participants were poorer, but we discovered that aerobic exercise can improve age-related declines in thinking functions,” said Stern.

“Our study has confirmed that exercise can be beneficial to adults of any age,” he added.

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