Science

Can Weightlifting Improve The Human Brain?

By Monica U Santos , Oct 25, 2016 05:50 PM EDT

Regular exercise such as running, walking and other aerobic activities may give us a healthier and stronger body. A study shows that these exercises may also affect our brain's performance. New research proves that weightlifting, even for just twice a week, can improve human's brain power.

Many neurological studies have found that most of us have begun developing age-related holes or lesions in our brains' white matter. One study, published in The Journal of The American Geriatrics Society, looked at how lifting weights affected the developing of age-related holes or lesions in our brains' white matter, which is the material that connects and passes messages between different brain regions.

A lesion is a region in our brain that has suffered damage through injury or disease, such as a wound, ulcer, abscess, tumor, etc. These lesions will grow with age, and eventually, the material deterioration could affect memory. On the other hand, brains' white matter is composed of bundles of myelinated nerve cell projection, which connect various gray matter areas of the brain to each other and carry nerve impulses between neurons.

Dr Yorgi Mavros, from the University of Sydney in Australia, said: "The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain."

Participants were broken up into three groups to perform different task in a whole year. The first group was commanded to do once a week light exercises for upper and lower body weight training. The second group did the same but complete it should be twice a week. The third group is a control group which they are asked to do stretching and balance exercise.

The first and third group showed a significant increase in the number of white matter lesions, which in turn would lead to sustained brain and memory function. According to an article in The New York Times, the study suggests that lifting weights mag give a positive impact on human's brain function, but according to Dr Teresa Liu-Ambrose, "a minimum threshold of exercise needs to be achieved."

This study shows a clear connection to exercise and brain function. Although there is not extensive research on the topic, studies shows that weightlifting can improve human's brain power. However, the quality and quantity of weightlifting and the ability of an individual to maintain a weightlifting schedule must be considered.

 

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