Evidence shows that physical exercise helps you build a brain that not only resists shrinkage as you age but also increases cognitive abilities. Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by causing your nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections, and protecting them from damage.

Research published in the journal Frontier in Aging Neuroscience revealed that endurance runners who skipped exercise for 10 days had reductions in blood flow to their hippocampus of the brain, which is a region associated with memories and emotions.

In the study, people who had also been exercising regularly for eight months lost nearly half of the well-earned improvements to their blood glucose levels when they became inactive for two weeks.

Time magazine spoke with Dr. Farah Hameed, a sports medicine physician with Columbia Doctors in New York City, who noted that your VO2 max (maximal oxygen intake) may fall by about 10% after two weeks without exercise, 15% after four weeks and 20% after three months, conservatively.

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