I’m currently reading John Medina‘s excellent book “Brain Rules” and I thought I would share some of the golden nuggets I’ve found over a series of posts.

Aerobic exercise is tremendously beneficial to brain function.  Specifically it improves the ability to control oneself (e.g., be politically correct, delay gratification, avoid negative emotional spirals, etc) and improves logical tasks like math.  Unfortunately, it has not been found to significantly help with memory.  While many of the early studies dealt with the elderly, more recent studies have shown that this effect holds throughout one’s life.

Aerobic exerscise twice a week halves your risk of general dementia and cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s by 60 percent.

Furthermore, it is not an all or nothing affair.  Every little bit of movement away from a sedentary lifestyle is helpful.  Even fidgeting at your desk brings small improvements.  Once the exercise level goes above 3 times a week for 20 minutes, the additional benefits are much smaller.