It seems there is no limit to the benefits of exercise. Known to prevent disease, improve mood, maintain a healthy weight, and keep everything in your body functioning properly, regular exercise is a necessary part of a long, healthy life.
A new study by researchers at Georgia Tech have found it does even more than that.
Focusing on the consequences of aerobic exercise in the form of lifting weights, researchers found that doing so on a regular basis–20 minutes a day–improves memory:
“When administered during consolidation, acute stress, both physical and psychological, consistently enhances episodic memory, particularly memory for emotional materials.”
Of two control groups, one participated in a leg weight exercise and one did not. Shown a sequence of images during the exercise in one group and while at rest for the other, both groups were tested forty-eight hours later to see what they remembered. The exercise group performed significantly better than the group that did not exercise.
Many Benefits of Lifting Weights
Weight-bearing exercise helps to maintain bone density in addition to muscle strength, helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Think of it this way: in ages past, people carried stuff and walked from place to place–they didn’t have all the tools and vehicles we have today to do the heavy lifting for us. It’s a more natural way to live.
With all the conveniences we have at our disposal and longer lifespans, the elderly (and not-so-elderly) lose density and muscle mass, which in turn contributes to common fractures and falling injuries.
Lifting weights also helps to lose weight and improve muscle tone. You don’t have to lift a lot to reap the rewards of strength and agility. Regular weight training benefits the joints by strengthening the muscles around them so they maintain mobility.
A proper regimen of aerobic exercise in the form of resistance training can:
- Burn more fat than cardio
- Improve the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder better than cardio
- Promote balance
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Help manage pain
- Improve posture
- Promote good-quality sleep
- Improve self-image and self-esteem
And now we know it can also help you to remember that guy’s name in Accounting. Throw another ten on the bar!