Cardio Keeps Your Brain Young

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Ever walk into another room only to realize you’ve forgotten why you decided to go there in the first place? Or maybe you can’t seem to remember your new coworker’s name, no matter how many times he tells you. These little slip-ups happen to the best of us, and can often cause unfortunate attacks of beet-face. The worst.

Lucky for us, recent findings suggest a new way to sharpen your memory: Cardio. Improve your memory with a little daily cardio, and bring on a flush in your cheeks the right way.

The Study

Researchers at the University of South Carolina examined the brain in response to cardio exercise by comparing a group of active mice to a group of inactive mice. After eight weeks, brain scans showed a growth in mitochondria in the active groups’ brains, while there was little or no change to the brains of the sedentary mice.

What does this mean?

Mitochondria deterioration is one of the principal causes of brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders. A growth in mitochondria, on the other hand, helps prevent cognitive disorders that are often associated with aging. Brain cells that are abundant in the organelle also have the potential to sharpen memory and reduce mental fatigue. Build your running muscles and your mitochondria, and you could avoid some of that absent-mindedness at the office.

How to achieve these results

Dr. Mark Davis, who teaches exercise science at the university, asserts that just 30 minutes of cardio a day — whether it’s a lunch break jog or afterwork kickboxing sesh — will do the trick. That’s a small price to pay to keep a granny mind at bay, wouldn’t you say? (Disclaimer: No offense to our grannies. We love hearing their stories, even on the 10th time around.)

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