Lifting weights may help you think better

Written by Diane Archer

The New York Times reports that a new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that lifting weights may be good for the brain; it could help you think better. In lab rats, weight training seemed to create new neurons in the brain.

It’s well understood that people who lift weights build muscles and become stronger. The same is true for rats. What the study shows is that rats that lift weights also think better. These rats appear to be able to have less memory loss that comes with age and even regain memory they have lost as a result of aging. 

It also has been shown that aerobic exercise, including walking, cycling and running, can do wonders for our brains. Aerobic exercise reduces inflammation and creates more neurons in the brain’s memory. A 44-year long observational study published in Neurology found that middle-aged Swedish women with good cardiovascular fitness were 88 percent less likely to develop dementia than women who were unfit. Exercise can also slow down the aging of your heart and muscles substantially.

If you’re wondering where you left your cellphone or can’t recall the name of your good friend’s spouse, it may be time to see whether lifting weights can help. The researchers believe as few as three weight-lifting exercises a week could make a difference.

In case you’re interested in how the rats did resistance training, the researchers attached weights to the rats’ rear ends and had them climb a three-foot ladder repeatedly.

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