Exercise can enhance memory and thinking skills by improving mood and sleep and reducing stress and anxiety. It encourages the production of chemicals that affect the growth of blood vessels in the brain and the number, survival, and health of new brain cells.
“Engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions,” said neurology instructor Scott McGinnis, MD, of Harvard Medical School. He suggested establishing exercise as a habit, similar to taking a prescription medication. Cognitive benefits can take up to six months to develop, but exercise should be a lifelong habit.
Source: “Exercise Can Boost Your Memory and thinking Skills,” Healthbeat, Harvard Medical School, 4/28/16