stretching-498256_1280I am not going to lie. I can’t seem to find the time to exercise and I really don’t enjoy it. But I know too much about its importance that I can’t just blow it off! While we all know the benefit of exercise for our bodies, how often do we consider the brain benefits?

The brain simply works better after you exercise. We know that aerobic exercise changes both the structures of the brain and how it operates. It helps kids learn and it helps adults with cognitive tasks. Your brain shifts into a higher gear during exercise. This heightens your sensitivities, helping you to see more clearly and have sharper perceptions.

Not only will you be cognitively better, but your brain stores up certain neurotransmitters during exercise-a factor that helps with depression. And exercise helps your brain stay “younger.”

Another part of the brain, gray matter, increases in volume in certain regions with exercise. The areas involved deal with attention and problem-solving. And brain white matter, which is like a super highway in the brain, runs better in the areas of balance and coordination. Neurons fire and communicate differently when exercise is involved and leads to better focus and memory.

So every time I begin to ignore the important self- prescription of exercise, I try to remember the benefits I will get. And while exercise isn’t a magic bullet, it is a free way to boost your brain health and help the aging process.

Think of it like a prescription that needs to be filled regularly. While I don’t enjoy it so much, I do enjoy the benefits from doing something I know will improve my health. So let’s motivate each other to get off the couch and do some moving!

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