BACKGROUND: Aging is associated with deterioration of arterial function and mental health, which are known as cardiovascular risk factors. The present study investigated the effect of aerobic exercise training on mental health and arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older adults. METHODS: Twenty-nine healthy middle-aged and older adults were assigned to either the aerobic exercise training (N.=14) or the control groups (N.=15). The aerobic exercise training group completed 12 weeks of moderate aerobic exercise training for 3-4 session per week (30-60 minutes). The control group did not change their levels of physical activity. Before and after the 12-week period, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and carotid β-stiffness index, peak oxygen uptake were measured. RESULTS: At the onset of the 12-week period, the GHQ score, Carotid Β-Stiffness Index, and other key variables did not differ significantly between the aerobic exercise and control groups. The 12-week of aerobic exercise training increased peak oxygen uptake. The GHQ score and Carotid Β-Stiffness Index were decreased after the 12-week period in the aerobic exercise training group; however, no significant improvements were observed in the control group. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that 12 weeks of aerobic exercise enhance mental health and decrease arterial stiffness in healthy middle-aged and older adults.
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