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The randomized controlled trial found that moderate aerobic exercise for 6 months was able to improve behavioral performance and executive function and that this was associated with reduced activity in certain brain regions.
The reduction in brain activity in regions of the brain required for attention and rapid decision-making but they correlated with improvements on the cognitive tests. The less someone’s brain had to work to maintain attention and make quick decisions, the better that person typically performed on the tests of general thinking ability.
‘Going for a one-mile or thirty-minute walk to strengthen your legs, burn some calories, and stretch your muscles is an example of exercise. Walking a mile to the store because you need to pick up something for dinner is an example of movement. Both may use the body in exactly the same way, but there is a difference in the bigger picture regarding how we think about and schedule the needs of our body.’