As I’m sure you’re all well aware, exercise makes you stronger. This is because exercise increases the amount of muscle mitochondria and basically the more mitochondria you have in your muscle cells, the more durable and fatigue-resistant (strong) your muscles are.
Studies show that brain cells are also fueled by mitochondria, and therefore also get stronger through working out. This is because “the brain has to work hard to keep the muscles moving” (J. Mark Davis, University of South Carolina Professor).
J. Mark Davis and his fellow scientists at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina conducted a test with mice for 8 weeks to figure out how this actually works. There was one group of mice that exercised every day, and one group that just lounged around. At the end of 8 weeks, the group that exercised performed extremely well on an endurance test and had a huge surge of “newborn mitochondria” in their brain cells. Of course no improvement was seen for the lounging mice, because they were lazy and didn’t exercise!
But the benefits don’t stop there! By working out, you are decreasing bodily or mental fatigue. That’s why the more you work out, the longer you can spend working out. Also, by decreasing mental fatigue, you’re making your brain sharper.
So the next time you stay up all night studying for your AP Bio test, don’t forget to take a casual 30-minute jog or just do some yoga. It will really help (plus it’s always good to take a break from studying)!
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