Dear bodybuilders, cardio doesn’t make your muscles weak, but not doing it may make your brains weak.
If there is one thing many bodybuilders dread, then it is doing cardio. And no matter how far-fetched the excuse – very popular is “cardio burns muscle”, which is nothing but a myth – they usually find one if they want to.
Yet most actually do know that cardio is important. Not only for losing weight, but also for having a healthy heart. And now scientists at Boston University found another reason why you should grit your teeth, put on the running shoes and just do it: The weaker your heart, the faster your brain apparently ages.
In their study the scientists looked at 1500 volunteers between 34 – 84 years and examined two factors: The heart index, which puts the heart’s performance in relation to the body’s surface, and the volume of the brain.
The interesting fact about this is that people with weaker hearts had less brain volume than those of the same age whose hearts were stronger. Even in those who had no pre-existing heart condition. This means nothing else but that your brain ages faster when you don’t keep your heart fit.
It is still not verified, but a logical assumption may be that the weaker your heart, the less blood it is able to transport. And the less blood is transported, the less oxygen and nutrients get to your brain and its aging is accelerated.
If this also lowers your brain’s performance is still unclear, but according to the researchers there is a high possibility that a shrinking brain is related to dementia.
So, next time you put on those running shoes, it may not only be your heart that is thankful, but also your brain. And perhaps at age 90 you will still remember who you are.
Picture courtesy of US Air Force.