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Older adults with a better ability to use oxygen during exercise (VO2max), which is a marker of fitness levels, are better at retrieving words from memory and have less age-related language failures such as “tip-of-the-tongue” states.

Tip-of-the-tongue states occur when the meaning of a word is available in our memory, but the sound form of the word can temporarily not be accessed.

Higher VO2max is also associated with improved blood flow to the brain, which may play a role in some of the long-term brain benefits.

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