We’ve known for more than 20 years that exercise positively alters brain chemistry, but some recent work on different types of exercise has me really excited. The New York Times reported on two studies that explored the relationship between exercise and memory. These studies compared the impact of weight training vs. aerobic exercise on cognitive functioning in both animals and humans and the results are enlightening. Aerobic exercise increased proteins in the brain that support existing neurons and help new neurons develop. Weight training increased proteins that encourage cell-division in newly formed neurons. Both types of exercises contributed to improvements on cognitive tests. Thus the combination is like a double shot of awesome for the brain!We already know that a varied approach in exercise is healthy in other ways as well. Weight-bearing exercises including weight-training and running help to prevent physical ailments such as osteoporosis and heart disease. And surely if some variety is helpful, more variety might very well add to the awesomeness of this program. So adding regular sessions of cycling and swimming, both easier on the joints, creates a truly comprehensive exercise program. I love that triathlon training is an excellent long-term program for maintaining healthy hearts, bones, and brains.
The trifecta of triathlon giving us a trifecta of health benefits. Genius.