Most of us want to be happy. Most of us want to be smart. But probably most of us don't want to exercise all that much, or else we just don't have time. I have some good news and some bad news .....
the good news .....
A new book, "SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" by John Ratey MD, outlines a whole range of benefits of exercise:
- It makes you happy - it affects the brain in a similar way to anti-depressants.
- It reduces stress and ameliorates the effects of stress by purging brain toxins and building up antioxidants.
- It improves our brain, increasing intelligence and improving memory.
- It reduces the likelihood of responding to threatening situations aggressively.
- It can help fight addictions - e.g. it reduces the desire to smoke.
- And of course, exercise is good for health and fitness.
and the "bad" news ....
These beneficial outcomes require at least a 30 minute walk 5 times a week. Better is to make that an energetic walk, or to include some short intervals of sprinting. But even a little is better than none.