”We know the advantages of weight training but as a nation there aren’t enough of us doing it”
Recent results from the Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) [i] trial lead by Dr Yogi Mavros, found increased muscle strength led to improved brain function in adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) – those with reduced cognitive abilities – a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.
“Basically the stronger you become the greater the benefit for your brain,” says Bill Moore, CEO of Fitness Australia. “It’s great to hear the positive cognitive effects on the brain from this study, however as a nation there just aren’t enough of us doing weight training.”
In fact it’s as high as Nine out of 10 Australian’s who aren’t engaged in sufficient weight training activity [ii].
This is according to Victoria University’s Institute of Exercise and Active Living’s FIT and WELL Study, lead by Dr Jason Bennie released earlier this year, 90 per cent of Australians are not meeting the global and national muscle-strengthening activity recommendations[iii].
“The results of both of these studies reinforce the importance of the type and intensity of people’s exercise, plus the need for more health practitioners to be prescribing exercise to patients,” says Moore. “In particular to those aged over 55 years, for short and long term health benefits. Most people generally think about the positive physical benefits of weight training but don’t consider how much benefit their brain is getting too. This makes it a win-win activity.”
[ii] Pumping Iron in Australia: Prevalence, Trends and Sociodemographic Correlates of Muscle Strengthening Activity Participation from a National Sample of 195,926 Adults
[iii] Pumping Iron in Australia: Prevalence, Trends and Sociodemographic Correlates of Muscle Strengthening Activity Participation from a National Sample of 195,926 Adults