Most of us notice the dependency between exercises and increased strength and fitness, or change in appearance. Does physical activity influence only our looks and strength? Healthier body means healthier brain. Many studies point at the correlation between regular physical activity and mental abilities, as well as slowed ageing of the mind. Genes and environment we grow up in have huge influence on the development of the brain, its efficiency and cognitive posibilities. These factors are often omitted in studies, which is quite a big limitation.
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What if twins undergo such research? They have similar or identical genes and they are raised in the same environment.
The research, which would look for the correlation between the efficiency of the brain and strength and muscle mass was done on British twins in King's College of London.
162 healthy middle-aged female twins took part in this test.
The scientists did research on the twins, whose memory, ability of thinking and strength of legs had been tested 10 years before. After 10 years the test was repeated. The legs' strength was compared to that from 10 years before along with the changes of brains' functions.
It was proven that for those twins, who had stronger legs muscles, the decrease of the ability of thinking clearly was the smallest.
The twins with more muscles had about 18% better memory than the weaker sisters.
The researchers did not check direct influence on the brains' abilities. Only one image of the middle-aged twins was used for this test.
For sure, there should be a lot more tests in order to learn the mechanism of the influence of exercises on brain's abilities. However, that's another proof which shows us that it's worth to exercise and strengthen muscles. It's important to include legs in training plan, just like running or riding a bike, not only because of the appearance and proportions of the body.
To sum up, brain needs exercises to stay efficient. Improving legs strength may influence, in longer perspective, on healthier cognitive ageing.