A couple of days ago I mentioned the book Spark that I had ordered, having read about it from Frank Forencich.
Bill De Simone commented on the post and summarised the argument:
the gist of his book is that running, swimming, etc. benefits creativity, concentration, mood, other brain aspects, more so than weight training and stretching, due to the increased blood flow to the brain. He doesn't devalue weight training/yoga/stretching, just draws a distinction between benefits. Increased heart rate alone, such as from blood pooling during weight training, isn't enough; there has to be the steady increased flow.
I just saw this study reported which seems to support that position:
In the first study to demonstrate a clear positive association between adolescent fitness and adult cognitive performance, Nancy Pedersen of the University of Southern California and colleagues in Sweden find that better cardiovascular health among teenage boys correlates to higher scores on a range of intelligence tests -- and more education and income later in life...
In every measure of cognitive functioning they analyzed -- from verbal ability to logical performance to geometric perception to mechanical skills -- average test scores increased according to aerobic fitness.
However, scores on intelligence tests did not increase along with muscle strength, the researchers found.
"Positive associations with intelligence scores were restricted to cardiovascular fitness, not muscular strength," Pedersen explained, "supporting the notion that aerobic exercise improved cognition through the circulatory system influencing brain plasticity."
UPDATE - Donny passed on the link to th full study
Interesting stuff indeed.
On another, related, tack, I've not been doing much "cardio" (dodgy phrase) recently and felt it yesterday on a hill walk. A section that normally takes me 30 minutes took about 32.....Still the view was worth it!
If I am in the hills like this, I still need some training specific to this.