Can running make you smarter?

It's time to dust off those trainers, says new study

We all know that, like most exercise, running can make us fitter, feel good and less stressed. But can it also make us smarter?

According to a new report released by the National Institutes of Health in the US, the answer is yes.

Researchers found that our brains appear to function better when they have Cathepsin B – a protein which we produce more of when we exercise.

Cathepsin B is well known for aiding the recovery of sore muscles by removing cellular debris, however, it had never previously been considered in linking exercise to brain health.

In the study, men and women ran on treadmills for four months, working out strenuously for approximately an hour three times a week.

During this time, the levels of Cathepsin B in their blood steadily rose and the runners began to perform better on memory and thinking tests they were subjected to.

Don’t think you can get these results by slacking off though (- here’s 13 brilliant running tips for beginners, by the way). The study also found that the runners whose fitness had increased most had the most improved test scores, meaning that the more effort you put in, the smarter you’ll be.

Looks like it’s time to dust off those trainers then…

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