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Dumbbells Make You Smart

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We typically think of exercise as being helpful for our heart. Or, we think that it helps us maintain a healthy weight.

This is true…

But, exercise does a whole lot more.

“A growing body of evidence shows that regular exercise — be it resistance training or aerobic — helps ward off a host of cognitive impairments and enhances brainpower all life long.”

We know that exercise increases our heart rate, increases our respiration – which in turn provides more oxygen to our tissues. This is all very good.

Now with MRI studies of the brain we see additional findings specifically with weight-lifting…

“The details of what’s going on inside the skull are fascinating. Voss explained that MRIs of people in their 60s showed increases in gray and white matter after just six months of exercise. This happens in the prefrontal and temporal lobes, sites that usually diminish with age. With exercise, Voss says, they grow.

Voss also explained that the hippocampus area of the brain, key for memory formation, shrinks 1% to 2% per year in those older than 60, but when people in this age group begin fitness regimens, it grows by 1% to 2% instead.

Beyond growing one’s brain, exercise improves the ability of different parts of the brain to work together, Voss says. It talks to itself better, but not in a multiple-personality kind of way.”

[Read more…http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-fitness-mind-20120213,0,7344477.story]

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