It’s that time of year when people start to lay down their resolutions for the next 12 months. Exercise and diet are on almost every list, and rightly so. We all know how important physical activity is to be healthy, but this year’s research focuses on a very cognitive level. A collection of 2011 Phys Ed columns in the New York Times have explored the positive affects of exercise on the brain. In The Year In Fitness, a recent article by Gretchen Reynolds, research outlines how exercise not only gives you a healthy body, but also increases cognitive sharpness and improves memory, giving you a healthy mind.
Your brain cells will actually be more robust and fit if you exercise regularly. Running daily changes the cells on a molecular level, increasing the amount of mitochondria in each cell. Exercise also helps slow the affects of aging, helping to retain much of your youthly muscle mass, hair, mental acuity, and organ health. These studies are impressive, and encourage me to be more consistent with my trips to the gym. Health and fitness are definitely on my 2012 list of things to focus on and improve.
You can read the whole article here.
(Image from here.)