Cardio for young adults may help preserve memory - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Cardio for young adults may help preserve memory

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Olga Prkhats, 23, goes to the gym about five times a week.

"I like dancing," she said. "I like Zumba, gives you a lot of cardio and tones your muscles."

New research finds all that exercising may also benefit her brain later on. Researchers at the University of Minnesota gave more than 2,700 people in their 20s a physical test on a treadmill. Twenty-five years later, those same people were given memory and thinking tests. The results found that people who were more fit in their 20s had better brain power in middle age.

"If you could go longer on a treadmill test, where we are asking you to walk at greater and great inclines, you did better on the thinking skills tests 25 years later," said Dr. David Jacobs of the University of Minnesota.

Researchers say the study is an important reminder for young adults to get plenty of cardio fitness like running, swimming, biking or exercise classes.

"The brain is particularly demanding of oxygen," Jacobs explained. "So the things that are heart-healthy or healthy for your blood vessels are probably also healthy for your brain."

"After exercising I feel so much energy in me," Prkhats said. "You feel pumped up, feel ready to go."

And she's getting an extra boost knowing she's also keeping her mind in shape.

The study also found that even when factoring in smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol, people who were more active in their 20s had better thinking and memory skills when they were older.

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