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A good aerobic exercise, like jogging, can help you maintain brain health.

A good aerobic exercise, like jogging, can help you maintain brain health.

Since spring is often associated with positive change, why not take the time to get into a healthy workout routine? Exercise benefits so many parts of your body, especially your brain. To get you inspired, here are three ways physical activity can help support brain health:

Reduces stress
Everyone experiences stress once in awhile, but if it's a frequent occurrence, it could be damaging your brain. A 2014 study from the University of California Berkeley found that chronic stress can alter a brain's structure and lead to mental illness later in life.

Exercise is one of the strongest defenses against stress, according to the American Psychological Association. APA research found that physically active people are less prone to develop anxiety and depression than those who don't exercise.

Promotes heart health
At times, you may feel like your heart and brain are at odds with each other, but they're more connected than you think. Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that the steps to improve cardiovascular health, like diet and exercise, also promote healthy cognitive functions. Working out can help you maintain two healthy organs at the same time.

Delays effects of aging
As we age, our brains start to decline in both size and function. The good news, according to a study from the University of Illinois, is that aerobic exercise can prevent this effect. The research found that study participants who exercised had larger brains than those who . Similar to the findings from the American Heart Association, this study also concluded that cardiovascular fitness is linked to cognition.

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