In the study, the control group and the participants who lifted once a week showed a significant increase in the number of white matter lesions, which in turn would lead to sustained brain and memory function. According to an article in The New York Times, the study suggests that lifting weights can have a positive impact on brain function, but according to Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, “a minimum threshold of exercise needs to be achieved.”
So, not only does it matter if you are working out and lifting, the amount that you are lifting also matters. Another study, conducted by researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology, found a similar relation to lifting and brain function.
For the research, participants were tasked with remembering images. One of the groups did this after lifting, while the other group did not lift before the memory activity. According to the study, on the first day at the lab, participants were shown 90 images before exercising. Then, study participants performed a leg workout.