When you exercise your body, you are also exercising your mind. In the February 25, 2006 issue of Science News they reported that exercise causes nerve cells to multiply, strengthens connections between neurons and protects the brain from damage.
Many studies show that exercise increases a brain factor called BDNF. This factor creates more and better connections between neurons, which in turn leads to increased capacity for learning.
In fact, some physicians see exercise in the same way they see prescriptions – they view it like a drug that needs to be prescribed. And because you cannot ‘store’ the results of exercise, you need to ‘take’ it regularly.
Of course, like any drug, you can have too much or too little. Certainly it’s best to talk to your health care provider if you are going to begin an exercise routine.
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The bottom line? Exercise makes you smarter. In addition, it helps ease pain, lessen depression and preserve memory.
How much is enough? You needn’t become a marathon runner to benefit from exercise. Consider walking a few miles 3-4 times a week to start.