Exercise and Peak Performance

Tags: Performance

Multiple studies over the last year have concluded that lifting weights at least twice weekly helps foster longevity and even prevents dementia. Now, a study reports that cardio exercise keeps people healthy and even prevents cancer. All these claims of wellness are great, but who really knows what is true. Many of the studies are on rodents and no one can be sure the results are relevant to humans.

In one study mice were injected with cancer cells. Some of the mice ran on wheels in their cages and those mice, after four weeks, developed fewer cancer cells. Scientists also found that the running mice had higher levels of adrenaline which is linked to lower cancer incidence. When the mice were given adrenaline blockers, the cancer prevalence increased. The increased adrenaline also increased the number of natural killer cells that can attack cancer cells.

Another study inspected the generation of new brain cells in rats who ran daily on a wheel. They found that the longer the distance the rats ran, the more brain neurons were observed. A second group of rats did high intensity interval training (alternating fast and slow running) and a third group only performed weight-training. After seven weeks, the number of new brains cells in each rat’s hippocampus was examined. The most neurogenesis was observed in rats that ran the longer distances. This study revealed that sustained aerobic exercise is beneficial for brain health.

Another study demonstrated that lifting weights twice a week may aid the brain. This study found that women who lifted weights at least twice per week had less shrinkage of their white brain matter than women pursuing other types of exercise.

So here is what we’ve learned:
• Lifting weights at least twice per week can prevent dementia and reduce changes in the brain as we age. Cognitions may be optimized.
• The more distance one runs the more new brain neurons are produced. Cognitions are optimized.
• Interval training while running is good for heart health and brain blood flow.
• Cognition is enhanced in all three types of exercise above.
• There is no evidence that flexibility exercise (i.e. yoga) fosters longevity, neuron productions, or health. Many do report a greater sense of well-being and reduced joint pain.

Therefore in addition to lifting weights at least twice per week, it is good to add cardio (i.e. running, biking, spinning, or elliptical) at least twice per week as well. So, for best results, mix weight training with interval training as well as sustained cardio exercise. Expect to have sharper cognitions and prevent illness and dementia based on these research findings.



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