Muscle Head: Strength Training for Cognitive Function
Muscle head: An enormously muscular guy who cannot hold a conversation about anything other than weight-lifting and protein shakes. It is generally considered a derogatory term, and it implies that the muscle head has little or no real brain function beyond lifting weights.
But what if new research (The Central Mechanisms of Resistance Training and Its Effects on Cognitive Function) says that resistance training is quite beneficial for cognitive function. Because it does!
There are several studies showing that moving some weights improves executive function and memory in older adults. In young to middle-aged adults, benefits on executive function have also been observed even after a single or acute bout of resistance exercise.
This paper says, "Normal aging is characterized by decline in cognitive functioning in conjunction with extensive gray matter (GM) atrophy." Since progressive strength training may increase gray matter, this is an exciting finding.
These paper suggest that more research must be done to determine the best way to strength train for improved brain function. But muscle head now has new meaning!!
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