The New York Times just reported a new study that says that running hard on a treadmill can make you smarter but lifting weights probably won't.
Well, at least it is so in mice. Recent research from a university study in China saw that those mice who were forced to run hard in their cage's treadmill were able to perform higher level tasks than those who merely jogged along at a low speed. The two groups were tested for "learning skills and memory." In one test, the mice had to swim through a water maze and in the other they had to "endure an unpleasant stimulus to see how quickly they would learn to move away from it." This went on for four weeks and both groups did well on the water maze, which was the easier test. But only the huffing and puffing treadmill runners did better with "the avoidance task, a skill that, according to brain scientists , demands a more complicated cognitive response."
Does this mean that those of us who lie around and don't exert themselves have a higher tolerancy for torture? Just thinking.......
Another study, this one with humans, had a similar result. This study involved "21 students at the University of Illinois." The students were required to memorize a string of letters, and then tested on it after either sitting quietly, running on a treadmill or lifting weights for 30 minutes. Each group was tested a second time after a 30 minute cooldown, and the treadmill runners did best. The thought here is that a fairly dramatic change in blood flow can stimulate the brain. Weight lifting doesn't flow blood to the brain.
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