Exercise does more for your body than you realize – in fact, your brain benefits from exercise just as much as your abs do. Here are a few things exercise helps that you might not have known.
Several studies have proven that exercise prevents Alzheimer’s in patients that were prone to it and also staves off severe symptoms in those that are already diagnosed with it. Exercise protects the hippocampus, which controls memory and spatial navigation, and is one of the first regions of the brain to be attacked.
This protection of the hippocampus not only prevents Alzheimer’s in the future, but can also improve your memory in the present. Studies show that children that exercise more have increased brain development. Adults have also shown improved vocabulary retention after exercising.
If you’ve got a nasty habit that you want to break, exercise can help you do it. Exercise releases the same chemical in the brain that drugs, alcohol, and food release. If you exercise instead of lighting up a cigarette or getting a drink at the bar, you can feel the same pleasure you would smoking or drinking.
If you’ve got writer’s block or you can’t think of what to draw next, try running a lap. Getting your heart rate up has been known to boost creativity for about two hours after. Giving your body a chance to run gives your brain a chance to breathe.
If you don't like working out excessively, even small bursts of exercise or a short walk can help to make your heart and your mind healthier.