Does Exercise REALLY Change Your Brain?

Uhhh, yah.  Big time.  And all for the better.

SMARTfit Functional Training

SMARTfit™ CEO Cathi Lamberti developed SMARTfit™ technology so that users could experience benefits related to a wide-range of scientific studies focusing on brain plasticity and the effect that exercise has on not only the body, but the brain as well.

The SMARTfit™ team are avid readers of Dr. John Medina’s book, Brain Rules.  Here is a quote from Brain Rules that summarizes his findings related to the connection between exercise and brain function;

“Exercisers outperform couch potatoes in tests that measure long-term memory, reasoning, attention, problem-solving, even so-called fluid-intelligence tasks. These tasks test the ability to reason quickly and think abstractly, improvising off previously learned material in order to solve a new problem. Essentially exercise improves a whole host of cognitive abilities prized in the classroom and at work.”

It is impossible to overstate the effects that daily physical activity can have in relation to improved brain function.  Whether you are exercising daily with SMARTfit™ functional training or in another (less awesome) manner, you’re very likely to experience a higher level of cognitive processing than if you did not exercise.   It’s that simple.

“We know that as people age, executive function declines, so we found that with higher cardiorespiratory fitness, you can enhance executive function performance behaviorally as well as executive function-related brain activation.

The renowned Beckmann Institute at the University of Illinois recently revealed results of a study involving 128 adults aged 59-80, as they analyzed the effects exercise can have on the brain for that age bracket specifically.

“Previous studies have shown that there’s a relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and behavioral performance in older adults. Other studies have looked at cardiorespiratory fitness and brain function, but really linking all three of those hasn’t been quite been done as explicitly as we did in this paper,” said Chelsea Wong, a M.D./Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois, who helped oversee this study.

To summarize the findings of the paper, higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness contribute to higher levels of reasoning and problem solving, as well as an increase in brain volume in key parts of the brain.

The study also found that, “Regions of the brain were activated more when performing two simultaneous tasks compared to a single task.”

This specifically, was interesting to the SMARTfit™ team version of SMARTfit functional training, as the multi-tasking nature of our exercise technology has always been unique compared with other other forms of exercise.

Art Kramer, a member of the team at the Beckmann Institute said, “This research adds to our growing understanding of the relationship among physical activity and cognitive and brain function—and suggests that we can improve our brain health by changing our lifestyle even as we age.”


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