Our brains are not only fantastic computers, but they have the ability to heal and re-work themselves. When we exercise our bodies it helps the blood and oxygen to flow through the brain which helps to keep it running smoothly. Recent studies have shown that one of the most beneficial exercises that we can do for our brains is strength training.
The Well section of the NY Times states that the participants in this study were between the ages of “65 and 75” who had existing lesions in the white matter area of their brains. The women were put into one of three different groups in the study.
A group of participants took part in the upper and lower halves of the weekly light training. The second group of participants also light-weight training, but they were twice a week. Participants in the third group participated in stretching and balance training twice a week.
The Brain Scans
The study that was conducted on how strength training affects the brain took place for one full year. At the end of that year all of the women went through brain scans, as well as having their walking ability tested. The scans of the women in group three showed more lesions than before the study began. The women in group one also displayed similar results as those in group three on the scans.
Some interesting scans showed women in both groups at the end of the year. This is a group of women weightlifting, twice a week. These women showed lower white matter contraction than other groups. They had a small increase in white matter lesions before scanning, but unlike other tissues. The second group of women also showed better balance and faster walking speed than the other two groups.
The results of this study suggest that while control of the entire brain and muscles in our white matter lesions may be unavoidable, it can be helped through weight lifting exercises. No matter what the age of the people, whether young or old or between the two, exercise and strength training is conducive to the body and brain.