In this chapter, we review the literature relative to physical activity, exercise training, and cardiorespiratory fitness associations with cognitive function, and brain structure and function. We begin by examining these relationships in the context of older adults, which represents the greatest proportion of the literature in this area. We conclude that data from exercise training studies show a consistent protective effect of exercise and, in particular cardiorespiratory fitness, on executive function and brain health. Next, we review a more recent series of studies that have focused on extending fitness effects on brain and cognition to children. This work is suggestive of a positive association between fitness and brain structure and function, cognitive function, and scholastic achievement. We conclude by discussing emerging trends and future directions in the physical activity and cognition field and argue that the maintenance of an active lifestyle across the lifespan may be as important for brain health as it is for physical health.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Social Neuroscience and Public Health|
|Subtitle of host publication||Foundations for the Science of Chronic Disease Prevention|
|Publisher||Springer New York|
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas