Breaking News Tonight Folks! Strength Training Boosts Brain Health In Men And Women! According to a recent study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, strength training can improve cognitive function in men and women as they age.
Both muscle mass and cognitive function tends to decline as humans age. Rather than shrinking like muscle, however, the brains of men and women develop small holes in the white matter referred to as “lesions,” which affect the way the various parts of the brain interact with one another.
These types of brain lesions are typical in the late middle age years, and while they show no noticeable effects at that time, they get bigger as the person ages, ultimately leading to a decrease in cognition.
Scientists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, looked at the role that strength and resistance training had on the development of these white matter brain lesions.
They studied 54 women between the ages of 65 years and 75 years with white matter lesions as they performed various types of strength training programs that included free weights, squats and lunges.
The study participants did the same exercises each time at a rate of once or twice weekly, depending on what group they were in. Eventually, they worked up to doing two sets of eight repetitions per set.
They were allowed to increase the amount of weight they were able to lift as their muscle strength increased and their ability to lift heavier weights improved. They also were allowed to progress in the number and intensity of the squats and lunges they performed and were encouraged to practice lunge walking.
The study participants exercised in this manner for a total of one year and the results were conclusive. Those who did strength training twice per week were found to have a lesser number of white matter lesions in their brain when compared to those who did not strength train at all.
The conclusion of the study was that some type of resistance training may be helpful not only to the cardiovascular system but to the brain as well. With a reduction in white matter lesions, the cognitive function of the individual doing the strength training would likely be improved by having an increase in muscle mass.
Looks like all of us better get to the gym. Thanks for watching and good night.