FIT TIP: Train The Brain With Exercise
April 29, 2014 / Category: Fitness Advisor
We all know a trip to the gym can burn calories, build strength and improve heart health, but it doesn’t stop there. When you’re on a Stairclimber working your glutes, you’re also working your mental muscles. That’s right, just like a Sudoku, exercise trains your brain!
Here are three ways to get a brain boost from your next sweat session:
Improve Cognitive Function. A study published in Brain and Cognition found that after 30 minutes on an exercise bike, test subjects completed cognitive evaluations faster than they did before exercising – and just as accurately. A different study found that adults aged 55 to 80 who exercised regularly performed four times better on cognitive tests than control groups who didn’t. So that spin class may do more than produce killer calves.
Boost Memory. Multiple studies revealed that physical exercise helps healthy aging adults improve their memory. In particular, a study in Perceptual and Motor Skills found that women performed 20 percent better on memory tests after running on a treadmill. So that’s where you left your keys!
Spur Growth. Our height may be set in stone, but our brain can still upgrade! A workout can actually improve the brain’s plasticity by stimulating the growth of new connections between cells. Research from UCLA demonstrated that exercise makes it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections. Think about your growing brain the next time you want to duck out of a workout!