A new study conducted at the University of Minnesota shows that exercising makes rats smarter – just another reason that we should be exercising regularly.
Basically, they split some rats into 3 different groups – those who weren’t given access to exercise, those who had an exercise wheel available to them to use as they pleased, and those who were forced to exercise daily for 45 minutes. After 5 weeks, the rats were then tested by exposing them to a noise, and an electric shock that would follow. The rats who were able to associate the noise with the upcoming shock were able to run to the other side of the enclosure to get away from the impending pain. Researchers found that the rats who had exercised were far more likely to figure this out, and get away from the shock. The sedentary rats were likely to just sit there and endure the shock, rather than use problems solving. To read more about the experiment, check it out here.
Studies have been conducted in humans as well, and it’s very apparent that being active is healthy, not only for your body, but also for your brain and mental capacity. Just take a look at this very cool infographic explaining the benefits of exercise in humans.