Chicken Legs Indicate Bird Brain
Thinking about skipping leg day? Think again… or you may forget next time!
We’ve known for a while that physical activity is beneficial to increasing your cognitive ability. Nerve cells are encouraged to grow by the hormones released from exercising. Researchers out of London took this study a little further and found a significant link between leg strength and cognitive ability.
The study was very in depth, but essentially researchers analyzed a sample of more than 300 female twins for their physical ability and mental health that included thinking, learning, and memory. Over the span of 10 years, they concluded that in general, the twin who had more leg power at the start of the study sustained their cognition better and had fewer brain changes associated with aging.
This makes sense because the legs contain the largest and most easily exercisable muscles in the body.
This is so important, especially considering we are constantly trying to find ways to fight the effects of aging, both physically and mentally.
The lead researcher on the project, Dr. Claire Stevens puts it this way, “It's compelling to see such differences in cognition and brain structure in identical twins, who had different leg power ten years before. It suggests that simple lifestyle changes to boost our physical activity may help to keep us both mentally and physically healthy.
Any kind of activity is going to be good for your leg strength but if you want to take the next step, try this workout:
Split squat: 12-15 reps each leg for 3 sets
Glute bridge: 15-20 reps for 3 sets
Single leg RDL: 10-12 reps each leg for 3 sets
Reverse lunge to high knee: 10 reps each leg for 3 sets