Every time your memory fails you for a second, go for a power walk. In a six-month study, it was found that older women who exercised aerobically had markedly better memories than control groups that lifted weights, toned or didn’t exercise. The regimen: 40 minutes of walking, twice weekly.
Before a workout get your flu shot. Exercise may double its potency. Those who jogged or rode bikes for 90 minutes after the flu shot had twice the antibody response a month later compared to those who relaxed. Two possible explanations: exercise boosts immune response and helps circulate the vaccine away from the injection site.
If you are working on muscle memory, for example, piano playing, exercise can help. Do it -- then try running or another exercise that is heart-racing. Exercise boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor a protein that helps "cement" memories.
Exercise may reverse cognitive decline caused by a longtime high-fat diet. When rats on the equivalent of a burger-and-pizza diet exercised daily, their mental decline reversed itself after seven weeks. At four months, these fat-fed mice had better memory function than non-exercisers on a low-fat diet. Aerobics may also help compensate for alcohol-related brain damage. Immoderate drinkers who worked out had far more white matter than their sedentary peers.
We’ve all heard of a "runner’s high" (endorphin rush). Now there’s another inducement to get to the gym: the "coregasm" -- an exercise-induced orgasm (which may strike by surprise, apparently.)
Make better decisions by exercising for 10-40 minutes first Kids and young adults who worked out right before test-taking showed better concentration and self-control than non-exercisers. During exercise, more oxygen-rich blood flows to the frontal lobes, the area responsible for "executive function"-- thinking ahead, reasoning and keeping yourself in check.
You can grow your brain, even as you age. When seniors exercised for a year, their hippocampus ("memory gateway") plumped up 2% -- which sharpened recall and reduced dementia risk. In the inactive control group, that part of the brain shrunk and memory got fuzzier.
Work out just 15 minutes a day -- and you get an extra three years of life. (And more means more: 30 minutes daily gets you four years more, Cancer rates among exercisers dropped by 10%; heart disease by 20%.
Okay, we’re not saying that nothing will bother you. But you’ll likely find that your fitter self is more resilient to slights, pressure and disappointments.
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