We won’t blame you if you go to the gym to sweat away stress or burn fat so you look halfway decent naked. But some eggheads in Sydney may have found another reason: increasing muscle strength could improve brain function.
So, how can this be? It’s not like the “bodybuilders and jocks are total morons” stereotype fell out of the sky, right? Turns out, when you’re lifting weights the body is increasing blood flow in a consistent way, meaning that blood can get to the brain easily. The brain needs nutrients and oxygen to function at optimal levels.
In the study, researchers asked subjects to lift weights twice a week for six months. Each participant had to make sure that they were working out at peak strength, or 80 percent of a balls-to-the-wall effort. At the study’s conclusion the participant’s muscles were bigger, and so were their brains (cognitive performance also benefitted).
Other positive effects: fitter people naturally expel toxins and normalize cholesterol better than non-fit and/or human piles of pudding. That being said, another study says you don’t need to lift heavy to stay in shape or build muscle. Read it here: You Can Still Build Muscle (And Burn Fat) Training With Lighter Weight And Higher Volume.
And here are more important things about your brain you should probably know: 7 Myths About Your Brain.