The same study concluded that anaerobic exercise, like HIIT and weightlifting, didn't necessarily have the same AHN-boosting effects.
How reliable is this study?
As with most studies, you should take the results with a grain of salt, since they were obtained from rats. On the other hand, rats have ruled the New York City subway system for decades, so they must be doing something right.
For anyone who's ever experienced the legendary "runner's high," though, it makes sense that aerobic work would be good for the brain. Jordan Metzl, a nationally recognized sports medicine physician, best-selling author, and fitness instructor, agrees. After all, "The mammalian brain is the mammalian brain," he says, which means you're more like the rats of NIMH than you'd like to admit.
Though the study presented new findings, Richard Robinson, a personal trainer at New York City's Box + Flow, doesn't believe its results have necessarily taught us anything groundbreakingly new with respect to the relationship between exercise, physical health, and overall brain help. "However, [the study] has offered us a stronger connection for which type of exercise may offer the greatest amount of benefit for your brain," Robinson says.