Exercise gives you energy, boosts your immunity, helps your heart, and–oh yeah!–tones your bod. There’s every reason in the world that exercise is good for you. No, seriously, there’s every reason–check out the surprising results of these exercise-related studies…
* Exercise may increase the size of your… brain! New research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that aerobic exercise might pump up the hippocampus part of your brain (which controls memory). Study participants who walked for 40 minutes three times a week had brain increase of about 2% (the participants that lifted weights had a brain decrease of about 1.5%).
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* It could make you more active in politics. For a study in Psychological Science, researchers linked the “fittest” states–those with frequent exercisers, low diabetes rates, and low obesity–with the states that had the highest voter turnout in 2004–they roughly matched up. They also found that people who were exposed to active words like “move” were more likely to vote than people who saw words like “relax.”
* It could increase the odds you’ll go to college. A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed a strong correlation between good IQ test results and physical fitness. Researchers studied more than one million men in Sweden. Those who were physically fit performed better in the logical thinking and verbal comprehension parts of IQ tests, and most went on to study at a university.