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The Best Exercise Routine For Your Brain

At this point we all know that exercise is good for us.

The health benefits of physical activity have been well-documented — including helping to control weight, strengthen the cardiovascular system, fortify bones, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

There is no doubt that the physical benefits of exercise are profound.

But the effects of exercise are perhaps most significant on the brain.

In fact, it is the mental benefits that have kept me running in the morning for over a decade now (the other health and fitness benefits are simply nice bonuses).

I swear by my morning run because it makes me sharper mentally all day long. And I am convinced that my morning running routine has changed my life and career more than any other habit.

The effects of exercise on my cognitive performance are so strong that I feel compelled to encourage others to take up a similar routine. But of course running isn’t for everyone, so I wanted to research the overall best types of exercise for the brain.

Fortunately, John Ratey M.D. is a leading expert in the space and wrote a best-selling book on the topic called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.

In the book, Ratey calls exercise “the single most powerful tool you have to optimize your brain function.”

He points out that exercise has been proven to:

And he details the best exercise regimen for optimal brain performance:

Overall, Ratey’s advice for people is to “get fit and then continue challenging themselves.” He advises to do something almost every day, but keep your program flexible and keep adapting to try new things.

There is no doubt that exercise is incredibly powerful for both the mind and body.

We’re awake for at least 16 hours each day. Spending just one of those hours (or even half an hour) exercising will be the most important thing you do all day!

Certified Nutritionist who writes about living well. Subscribe to my email list at

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