For the longest time, serious weightlifters were seen as, well, not as smart as everyone else. However, with science and technology advancing at an unbelievable rate, studies are beginning to suggest that those perceptions couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m not saying NASA should start recruiting from local gyms across the US. But the studies do show that people with daily personal training and fitness plans benefit from increased brain activity. That workout plan doesn’t even have to include weightlifting to see these benefits. So how exactly does physical activity increase brain power?
Physical activity boosts your brain’s processing power in a few different ways. The first way is pretty self-evident. Any type of physical activity from getting out for a quick walk to a grueling weightlifting session increases your heart rate. When the heart rate picks up more blood is being pumped throughout the body. This is important in every part of the body, but the brain is an oxygen fiend. By feeding more oxygen to the brain. Synaptic responses ( the brain’s way of retrieving stored information) increase exponentially. This enables the mind to work more efficiently and actually increases reflexes and response time.
Another way that a strong personal training and fitness program can increase your intellectual prowess is much more complicated. I will try to explain it in the most simplistic way possible. Oxygen also supports the production of neurons as well as boosting the release of neurotransmitters through a complicated process that can be easily understood by picturing a shipping dock. The dock is the neuron itself and the neuron has information that it needs to send to another dock. There are gaps between neurons that create the need for neurotransmitters, which can be thought of as little ships that carry information from deck to deck. By supporting neuron production and boosting neurotransmitter release, our brain is able to operate at much higher levels than ever.
It is great to see that science is able to show us what working out can do for our brains. The benefits that a personal training plan, fitness regime, or weightlifting rituals have long been evident. For a long time, it has been clear that aging people who stay active doing activities such as yoga or cycling suffer from arthritis and other joint debilitating illnesses far less frequently than their less active counterparts. Think of the people you know who have been doing things such as gardening or jogging on a daily basis, their memory is usually quite impeccable. That is because exercise helps fight dementia and memory loss.
Science will continue to bring us new information on all of the mental and physical benefits that we can enjoy from healthy fitness habits. Don’t wait for science to give you more incentive to get up and get more active today. Whether it’s jogging, weightlifting or hiring a personal trainer, start doing something to improve your health today!