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Extra exercise benefits…

… for your brain

We’ve long known that brain training can be a good way of protecting the memory, but new research suggests the effects are even greater when combined with intense exercise training. A study, published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, found people who combined cognitive training with exercise over a six-week period did better in subsequent memory tests than those who only completed either cognitive training or exercise programmes.

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, November 2017

… and for your gut

Our gut microbiome is a hot topic these days, with experts agreeing its composition is crucial to good health. Now new research shows we can improve our gut health through exercise. Researchers from the University of Illinois found exercise can improve your microbiome even if your eating habits remain the same. The study suggests that the more active we are, the more our levels of butyrate, a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties, increase. This is good news, as butyrate has a role in the prevention of auto-immune illnesses and some cancers. You’re not off the hook if you have unhealthy eating habits, however, as the most improved microbiota were seen in the participants who were already classified as ‘lean’ and did exercise.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, November 2017