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Brawn and Brain

Can exercise make you smarter?


Talk about getting two for the price of one: high-intensity exercise boosts your intelligence as it melts excess kilos. After four months of strength training plus interval cardio (30 minutes of alternating 30 to 45 seconds of hard-as-they-could cycling with equal periods of rest), heavy women and men at the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada dropped kilos, trimmed their waists and had fewer heart-disease risk factors. They also felt – and were – mentally sharper, with scores up by as much as 25% on cognitive tests. ‘Not only was more oxygen getting to their brains,’ says lead author Dr Anil Nigam, ‘but their brains had also become more efficient at using it.’

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