Get Strong To Improve Your Cognitive Function

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The studies are in, and they clearly show that if you want to be smarter, you need to get stronger.

The Sydney Study

In this study from 2020, the University of Sydney took 100 participants over the age of 60 through a 6 month strength training regime. Their brains were studied through neuroimaging and found that the amyloid plaque, which is one of the factors for brain degeneration and dementia, stopped growing over this strength training period of time.

The brains were studied through to the end of an 18 month period, one year after the strength training regime stopped, with the results showing that the hippocampal region of the brain in the strength training cohort had not shrunk. Whereas the participants who didn’t strength train saw reductions of 3-4% across the board.

A Newly Discovered Study

In Mind Pump 2271 Sal brings up a new study he has recently discovered which took 68 women and 32 men between the ages of 55-86, which is typically the age of most cognitive decline.

Twice a week, half of the group did strength training, whilst the other half did stretching.

The results showed the strength training group scored significantly higher on cognitive tests at the end of the 6 month study than the stretch training group. Interestingly those gains were also retained 12 months after the training had stopped.

What’s most interesting however was that the people who made the most strength gains, actually made the highest cognitive improvements also. Which arguably shows the stronger you are, the smarter you are also.

Why Is Increased Muscle Power Correlated to Increased Brain Power

As Dr. Gabriel Lyons states in everything she does, the world does not have an obesity epidemic, it has an under-muscled epidemic. 

Muscle is incredibly important for insulin sensitivity because muscle stores glycogen. Glycogen comes from the carbohydrate food we eat and is processed in the body to be firstly used as energy, then stored in the muscles and liver. The carbohydrates that cannot be stored needs to be processed through the body with insulin released from the pancreas. This last part of the process through the pancreas is where insulin sensitivity can break down if the pancreas is continuously overworked.

So if you rewind the process and think logically, you can see how important it is to have functional working muscles to help store the carbohydrates you eat into muscle glycogen.

My Own Cognitive Improvement Experiences

When I began my life changing journey back in 2015, I often worried about memory retention. It felt like every piece of information I was learning was simply going in one ear, and out of the other.

Somehow that should be expected. I was 45 years old and had never truly tried to learn anything new for decades. But for quite some time this lack of memory retention continued as I struggled to keep what I had learned inside me.

Fast forward 8 years to where I am now, and this is another phenomenon I would put into the law of increasing returns. I no longer concern myself with memory retention as this has multiplied many fold since I began. 

Furthermore, my cognitive output is more than it’s ever been in my life. Not only do I continue to increase output in my high pressure executive full time job. I consistently publish these weekly blogs, whilst working on my book and building multiple other business plans in varying guises of industry.

All of this is being done whilst having increased control over my negative emotions through mindset and stress reduction, bringing higher amounts of inner peace, allowing me clarity to focus on learning more new things.

This clearly all comes from a healthier body, which has culminated with a positive unintended consequence of an active and healthy mind.

Resources

Sal writes about the Sydney study and the phenomenal behind it in his book The Resistance Training Revolution. This truly is my number 1 go-to book for anybody who is embarking on a life changing journey. I simply cannot recommend it enough.

In Mind Pump 2271, Sal chats to Adam and Justin at the beginning of the podcast and discusses the reasons why muscle plays such an important part in cognitive function. 

Read Sal’s book, and dig into this podcast to learn about the importance of muscle, as well as guides to how you can reach those goals. Alongside many other fascinating topics such as the benefits of GHK-cu peptides, when to implement cold exposure, why slowing down the eccentric move on a lift is valuable, whether you should or should not do cardio, as well as many other enlightening and entertaining conversations.

This is a blog to help explain the reasons why you should focus on Living Stronger, so you can Live Smarter and Live Longer!

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