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It seems that the more you work out, the better your brain operates. Researchers have found that:
- Exercise focuses the brain. Student athletes proved they were faster thinkers compared with nonathletes in a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The researchers guessed that the college-age athletes were better at processing information quickly.
- Exercising while learning boosts test scores. This study used grade-school children and found that those who exercised while looking at geography lessons increased their state test scores from 55% to 68.5%. The study was presented at a Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting in Denver.
- Aerobic exercise can increase brain size. Scientists showed that adults ages 55-80 who engaged in a single year of aerobic exercise increased the size of their brains in the area of the hippocampus, the area of the brain that's crucial for memory and spatial navigation. The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Exercise keeps the aging brain sharp. Two different studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine discovered that among a group of 74-year-olds, those with the highest levels of physical activity had the lowest percentage of developing any cognitive impairment compared with those who engaged in the least amount of physical activity.
- As you can see, every age group can enhance their mental capacities by exercising regularly. When you also consider that working out has been shown to help reduce depression, it appears that the best thing you can do for your head is get your body moving.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.