We all know that going for a run or a lengthy cycle is good for your health. Exercise is not only a mood booster but it can be the key to living a long, happy and healthy life. But, might there be other benefits? Might your choice in exercise also be making you smarter? According to new research published in the Journal of Physiology, sustained aerobic activity, like running or cycling, promotes neurogenesis in the brain which can make you better at learning new things and defeating challenges. In this study, researchers looked at how running, high intensity interval training, and basic resistance training affected the genesis of neurons in the brains of rats. What they discovered was that the rats who ran, had two to three times the number of new neurons in the hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for temporal learning and the mastering of complex spacial challenges), than the rats who had done interval training or resistance training. Although this study was performed in rats, it is believed that humans would experience similar results. Lead author in the study, Miriam Nokia, Ph.D., says that human brains and rodent brains show a similar increase in blood flow to the hippocampus during exercise so it is reasonable to assume the results would be similar. [bctt tweet="Is Your Exercise Making You Smarter?"] There are lots of studies out there that demonstrate how aerobic exercise is great for boosting brain power but when it comes to anaerobic exercise like HIIT and weight lifting, the studies are inconclusive. "It seems that aerobic exercise is most effective at boosting your memory, mood and attention. Though the specific 'formula' for how much, how long, and what kind of exercise is best is still not known," says Wendy Suzuki, Ph.D., a neuroscientist studying how different types of exercise affect the brain. Runners, it is time to rejoice! You've found an exercise that might actually boost your brainpower! But why not round out your exercises a little? While the research is murky as to whether or not interval training can make you smarter, we do know it can help you burn fat and build muscle. Why not add a few minutes of interval training to your workout regimen? With over 80 hours of on demand workouts, SweatFlix℠ has exactly what you are looking for! From 21 day bootcamps to 7 day challenges, from beginner to advanced, SweatFlix℠ has it all! And with new content being added all the time, you'll never fall into a workout rut! What do you think of this study? Do you think endurance exercise can make you smarter? Source: Shape
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