If you want your brain to operate at top-notch capacity, you may want to pick up something heavy. That’s right: your brain works better when you work out your muscles. There are some definite benefits to cognition when you work out!
Research has been done that strongly suggests that physical activity enhances brain performance. Not only does it boost mood and treat depression, increase lifespan, and of course improve physical appearance, but it can help you to think. And that’s what nootropic users are looking for.
From an article in the New Zealand edition of Stuff from 2015: “The University of Sydney study shows resistance weight training could be crucial in keeping the aging brain nimble, as working out with weights was found to boost the mental agility of older people with mild cognitive impairment – a common precursor of dementia that is not treatable with drugs.”
The research showed that working out (meaning resistance training, as opposed to aerobic workouts) boosts the brain function in elderly patients. It stands to reason that if you’re young, resistance training could not only improve or optimize your brain’s abilities, but it could possibly prevent cognitive impairment, dementia, or Alzheimer’s.
Not only can resistance training help your brain to resist impairments, but it can boost your general overall feeling. And mood boosts are one of the other sought-after nootropic effects many users are seeking. In his excellent site, PD Mangan often mentions the benefits of resistance training as an anti-aging strategy. But he also acknowledges the mood-boosting power of weightlifting in his article entitled “Resistance Training Treats Depression“.
In that article, he states: “Most people who lift weights won’t need any studies to confirm the efficacy of resistance training. The effect is that obvious. One trip to the gym for a weightlifting session clears the mind and improves mood. It would seem to follow that frequent sessions could improve mood over the longer term.”
He also mentions another common problem that people have, which causes them to use drugs (including nootropics) – worry, also known as anxiety. “Anxiety is closely related to depression. So resistance training, and other forms of exercise, ought to improve anxiety.”
Whether or not there are scientifically-measurable benefits to weight training, the experiences of those who exercise regularly can’t be ignored. The overwhelming consensus is that working out is generally a very good thing for you. It improves overall health, improves mood, and clears thinking.