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Reported October 29, 2012

Exercise your Body to Exercise your Mind!

(Ivanhoe Alert) – It’s time to think twice before skipping the gym. A new study shows the benefits of a good workout can not only make you healthier, it can also make you mentally fit.

In the study, researchers put previously sedentary adults through four months of high-intensity interval training and they found the more exercise they got, their ability to think, recall things and make quick decisions improved significantly.

"If you talk to people who exercise, they say they feel sharper. Now we've found a way to measure that," Dr. Martin Juneau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute, was quoted as saying.

Dr. Juneau and his colleagues measured cognitive function with neuropsychological testing, as well as body composition, blood flow to the brain, cardiac output and their maximum ability to tolerate exercise. The idea is that blood flow to the brain increases during exercise. The more fit you are, the more that increases.

The subjects then began a twice-a-week routine with an exercise bike and circuit weight training. After four months, their weight, body mass index, fat mass and waist circumference were all significantly lower. Meanwhile, their capacity to exercise (measured by VO2 max) was up 15 percent.

Researchers also found cognitive function had also increased. A decline in cognitive function of normal as we age but Dr. Juneau believes thanks to this study, we now know can prevent some of it.

"It's reassuring to know that you can at least partially prevent that decline by exercising and losing weight," Dr. Juneau was quoted as saying.

Exercise is also good for the heart.

"At least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week can make a huge difference to manage risk factors for heart disease and stroke," Dr. Beth Abramson, Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson, was quoted saying. "There are many benefits of exercise – we know it can make us feel better. This suggests it can make us 'think better' as well."

Source: Canadian Cardiovascular Congress
 

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