If I told you being physically active made you healthier, you’d probably say, “No sh*t!”
If I told you being physically active made you smarter, you’d probably say, “No sh*t?!”
Both are true, though we only really know about the former. We know that being physically fit reduces the odds of heart disease, stroke, diabetes. It helps lower things – like your weight or blood pressure. It helps increase things – like your energy and the right swipes.
BUT you probably didn’t realize exercise also made you smarter. You probably thought that’s what books did. And they do, if you close them, put them under your and run around the block with them. About to back that up with some science!
Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic exercise, think running or biking, reduces the size of a hippopotamus BUT appears to increase the size of your hippocampus. (The hippopotamus part we threw in as a joke BECAUSE laughter makes you happier and we want to translate reading Grit ‘N Wit articles to happiness).
So why is a bigger hippocampus a big deal? BECAUSE that’s the area of your brain involved in verbal memory and learning. Lifting your books up and down, aka anaerobic training, did not have the same results.
There’s a lot more science for why this is true and we’ll refer you to the Harvard article. (link it) http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110
So what are the takeaways – running has A LOT of benefits. And the name should really be Grit & Wit Squared. If that doesn’t make sense, we advise that you run around the block until it does.