Exercise and the Brain

If you’d like to retain and even extend your brain capabilities for the rest of your life, please raise your hand. OK, you can put your hand down now and buy this book. It may  change your life.

One of the more active and exciting areas of research in neuroscience deals with the impact exercise has on the brain. Most of this research is very recent and the end result is mind rattling: aerobic exercise increases cognition. Unfortunately, not enough people seem to be aware of this.

Reading articles and books on the topic has made me realize that it’s truly the elephant in the room; not just important but extremely important. When you understand the impact and implications of exercise on your cognitive functions, it hopefully will spur you to take action. It’s such a compelling argument to get going.


We’ve all received messages on the internet that seemed plausible only to learn later that they’re completely false. We’ve developed a healthy skepticism of what we hear and read.

The objective in this chapter is to provide enough information that you’ll say, “OK, Harry, I get it; I’m signing up.” But I don’t expect you to believe me just because I write something on a piece of paper.

There are more quotes and references to scientific articles in this chapter than in any other in order to provide the necessary credibility. This chapter has benefitted from a review by Dr. Art Kramer, Director of the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, one of the most important centers for research on the topic of exercise and the brain. I’ve indicated where he made additional comments to amplify certain sections.