Aerobic Exercise Boosts Heart and Brain Health in Hypertensive Adults| study

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aerobic exercise for heart and brain health

The less consistent brain flow patterns increase the risk of dementia and cardiovascular disease. Researchers from Iowa State University conducted a study and tried to understand whether regular aerobic exercise can influence cerebral pulsatility and cardiovascular health. They studied the effects of aerobic exercise on the functions of the brain and arteries in middle-aged adults.  

This study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. In this study, researchers involved 28 people with high blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension. These participants were aged between 40 and 64. Researchers divided them into two groups such as the exercise group and non-exercise group. Participants of the exercise group performed moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise training (AET) and participants of the non-exercise group did not exercise. Researchers checked the health of these participants and measured the pulsatility index (PI) of the middle cerebral artery (MCA), stiffness of the large artery, and characteristic impedance. They also tested their cognitive and cardiorespiratory (VO2peak). 

When researchers observed the collected data, they found that the VO2peak of people in the exercise group was increased by 6%, while it was decreased by 4% in the non-exercise group. This clearly shows people in the exercise group were more aerobically fit. The people in the exercise group also showed some beneficial changes such as their central arteries became more flexible and they had less characteristic impedance. This shows that AET is good for heart health as it made large arteries more flexible and less resistant.  

On the other hand, when they noticed brain pulsality in the exercise group, they found an increase. Even though it did not significantly rise, the results were consistent with what previous studies proved. This study also showed that people in the exercise group had better brain performance.  

The results of this study show that aerobics improves the health of the heart and brain. So, healthcare professionals should suggest it to those with heart and brain-related complications. They should make some effective strategies for these people to start performing aerobics. 

Reference Link:  

Krista S. Reed et al, Effects of Aerobic Exercise Training on Cerebral Pulsatile Hemodynamics in Middle-aged Adults with Elevated Blood Pressure/Stage-1 Hypertension, Journal of Applied Physiology (2024).  

DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00689.2023 

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