Health Minute: Exercise May Make You Smarter

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WESTERN NEW YOKR – Working out can help shed pounds, tone up, and live longer; but there could be another hidden benefit we can’t see.

Neuriscientists at Oregon Health and Science University studied mice and found that short bursts of exercise boost the part of the brain associated with learning and memory.

Gary Westbrook, a senior scientist who worked on the study, says previous research focused on the benefits of regular exercise has on overall health.

The study specifically measured the brain’s response to single bursts of exercise in otherwise sedentary mice. The short-term bursts of exercise in mice, which is comparable to about 4,000 steps for humans, was enough to prime the brain for learning.

Westbrook says they working to prove a direct link between the two.

“The message is you don’t have to be going to the gym everyday, that’s great if you do,” said Westbrook. “But, even taking a long walk can have a positive effect.”

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