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Brains AND Brawn

Remember when you were in grade school and there were specific stereotypes for different types of students? I am specifically referring to the ones that suggest that the more athletic/muscular kids (or the “Jocks”) were considered unintelligent bullies while the skinny lanky kids were considered the more intelligent nerdy ones who got stuck helping others with their homework. It was almost a black and white question of, would you rather have “Brains” or “Brawn”. Well today I present good news that challenges these stereotypes…

Recent studies reviewed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) have shown positive correlations between increased muscular strength and increased cognitive ability. Three of the studies demonstrated that those with weaker grip strength were also associated with higher risk of cognitive decline, which could contribute to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Similarly, a study done in 2012 demonstrated that resistance training shows to have significant effects in improving the mental performance in women above the age of 70. This is exciting news! If this is the case for someone in their 70’s, I would not argue against the likeliness of these same effects carrying over into the younger population as well. Even more exciting than that, further studies were done indicating that the combination of regular aerobic exercise AND resistance training enhance mental performance even more than either one of them alone.

Based on this information, it would seem that there is not such a black and white answer of choosing brains over brawn or vice versa. In fact, it would seem that the two are actually complimentary to one another and exist harmoniously together.

So the next time someone asks you the questions, “would you rather have brains or brawn?” It would be in your best interest to answer, “BOTH”!

Other Resistance Training Benefits:

  1. Increased Lean weight
  2. Increased resting energy expenditure
  3. Decreased fat weight
  4. Reduced low back pain
  5. Reduced arthritic discomfort
  6. Ireased functional independence
  7. Enhanced movement control
  8. Increased insulin sensitivity
  9. Improved glucose (sugar) control
  10. Reduced resting blood pressure
  11. Improved blood lip profiles
  12. Enhanced self-esteem
  13. Reduced depression
  14. Increase bone mineral density
  15. Reversed aging factors in skeletal muscle
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