Does Exercise Make You Smarter?

4 05 2010

I just read a study that showed monkeys who ran on a treadmill for an hour for five days a week showed increased cognitive ability along with greater blood flow to the brain. But if they became sedentary afterward, they lost those advantages.

This information from Medical News Today set me to wondering. As a writer and editor, I spend a good portion of my day sitting. So does that mean my brain power is slowly (or perhaps quickly) draining away? Very scary thought.

Perhaps that explains my memory loss. Is it possible that, rather than aging causing a loss of brain cells, the decrease in cognition comes from becoming more sedentary as we age? I like that explanation. It gives me hope that I can reverse the effects of aging. All I have to do is get on a treadmill five days a week.

How likely is that? Probably as likely as me swinging by my tail from a tree. Let’s just say those monkeys have me beat by a mile (or more).

That leads to another, even scarier, thought. If the monkeys keep running and I keep sitting, will they eventually become smarter than I am and take over my job?