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Gender Differences in Fitness and Brain Function

Is aerobic exercise better for older men's brains?

Many studies show that cardiorespiratory fitness improvements boost brain fitness in later life. New research in the Journal of Applied Physiology (2019; doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01046.2018) reveals that effects may differ between men and women.

Researchers at York University, Toronto, and McGill University, Montreal, studied healthy older women and men to look for possible gender-based distinctions in the relationship between cardiovascular fitness and better brain network integrity. Study authors observed a stronger association in older men than in women.

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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