Lifting weights not only pumps up your muscles, but also gives your memory a boost. That’s the upshot of new research out of Georgia Institute of Technology that found an intense body-building workout — as little as 20 minutes — can enhance long-term memory by about 10 percent.
The study, published in the journal Acta Psychologica, involved a group of volunteers who were asked to lift weights just once two days before researchers tested their memories of events and photos they were asked to study before working out.
After exercising, the participants were able to recall 60 percent of the photos and events, while a similar group of individuals who did not work out could recall only 50 percent.
“Our study indicates that people don’t have to dedicate large amounts of time to give their brain a boost,” said Lisa Weinberg, the Georgia Tech graduate student who led the project.
Although the study used weight exercises, Weinberg notes that resistance activities such as squats or knee bends would likely produce the same results. In other words, exercises that don’t require the person to be in good enough to shape to bike, run, or participate in prolonged aerobic exercises.
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