By | DANIELLE ZICKL | www.runnersworld.com
While exercising on a regular basis brings along physical benefits, like building muscle, many of us can relate to working out so we can clear our minds and boost our moods. As it turns out, that’s not all our long runs, speedwork, strength training, and yoga sessions can do for our brains.
All of the ways we stay in shape can also improve our memories, intelligence, and ability to process information, and decrease our risk for general dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life.
We rounded up the most relevant scientific research about how your favorite ways to exercise also have some serious advantages for your noggin, below.
[The 2021 Runner’s World Calendar features gorgeous photos, monthly motivation, and tips to inspire your running all year long.]
🧠 Cardio Benefits
Whether you’ve been running for years or just recently bought your first pair of shoes, you can be assured that your exercise is doing wonders for your brain. A 2015 study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at 59 people between the ages of 43 and 65, and found that those who participated in moderate or strenuous aerobic activity at least four days (or seven hours) a week performed better on subsequent cognitive tests that measured memory and attention than those who participated in less than one hour a week of aerobic activity. That’s because the people who exercised had better blood flow in the brain than those who didn’t.