If the typical goals of trimming waist lines, burning fat, and improving heart health aren’t enough motivation to squeeze in a workout, here’s yet another reason to go pound the pavement: it turns out intense exercise may actually improve brain function   .
Work The Body, Improve The Brain — Why It Matters
The proof is in the papers— a whole fistful of ‘em! One study found that college students had improved accuracy and quicker results on memory tests after aerobic activity . And it’s not just for the youngin’s— another study found that elderly people who exercised over a 6-month period reported improved cognition on memory and intelligence tests .
While gaining a few extra IQ points might be nice, these small changes can also affect long-term success. One study found that those who regularly exercised showed improved cognition and higher IQ scores . What’s more, the fitter of the bunch were more likely to embark on lucrative careers , so get ready say hello to the next Richard Branson, ma and pa.
Bigger Muscles, Better Brain? — The Answer/Debate
Don’t think pumping iron like The Terminator will be all that's needed to grow a few extra brain cells. The evidence points to aerobic exercise (not weight lifting) as a brain booster . The science shows the exercise needs to be rigorous enough to drastically increase blood flow to have any effect. Not much of a runner? High intensity interval circuit training can accomplish the same increase in blood flow. But beware: resistance training does not. So if one athlete is a model, it’s Lance Armstrong, not The Terminator. Sorry, Arnold.
Einstein probably clocked in some miles on the treadmill. How else could he have been so smart?