Research has found that running has both an immediate and long-term effect on the brain. When running, there is an immediate release of dopamine and other endorphins which make us feel great and relaxed. We have now discovered that aerobic exercise improves memory.
One study involving 206 adults, looked at them before and after a six-month exercise programme. By the end of the programme, blood flow to the brain had increased by 2.3%, which researchers believe led to a 5.7% improvement on executive function and 2.4% improvement on verbal fluency.
Another study looked at the same variables but revisited participants after a year's worth of aerobic exercise. The exercise group saw a 47% improvement in memory scores.
It isn't just running that leads to such benefits, any high intensity exercise can cause the release of the all important neurotransmitters and hormones. Take a break and get exercising!