Be smart, exercise your heart: Exercise effects on brain and cognition

Charles H. Hillman, Kirk I. Erickson, Arthur F. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

An emerging body of multidisciplinary literature has documented the beneficial influence of physical activity engendered through aerobic exercise on selective aspects of brain function. Human and non-human animal studies have shown that aerobic exercise can improve a number of aspects of cognition and performance. Lack of physical activity, particularly among children in the developed world, is one of the major causes of obesity. Exercise might not only help to improve their physical health, but might also improve their academic performance. This article examines the positive effects of aerobic physical activity on cognition and brain function, at the molecular, cellular, systems and behavioural levels. A growing number of studies support the idea that physical exercise is a lifestyle factor that might lead to increased physical and mental health throughout life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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