A while back I read a book that changed the way I think about exercise. The book is “Spark! How exercise will improve the performance of your brain” by Dr John Ratey and Eric Hagerman.
“Everyone” knows exercise improves your cardiovascular fitness, helps you lose weight and protects you from many illnesses like heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer and diabetes. If you have read health-related articles, you may also be aware that exercise is nowadays a recommended treatment for depression.
What I did not understand, is how important exercise actually is for the optimal functioning of your brain and for your overall wellbeing. It appears that physical activity is a kind of cure-all for human ailments.
John Ratey has put together lots of recent research about brain and physical activity and writes about them in a way that is relevant and accessible to a layman. The book has chapters dedicated to learning, stress, anxiety, depression, add, hormonal changes, addiction and aging.