August 20, 2007

Does exercise -- physical exercise -- improve your brain?

The NYT asks, and a chorus of people who exercise all say... what do you think? Here's the first response:
Yes. Definately

The second:
The exercise can help to think more clearly. Because when you are doing the excise, your brain becomes simple not too many things to consider, so you think about one thing, it’s more clear to get the results.
And the third one... well, let's be merciful and stop...

ADDED: Here's the background article in the NYT Magazine (about research about the regeneration of neurons). And here's something Pogo writes in the comments:
Of course exercise improves your brain. That's why all the jocks in high school were also the dweebs with pocket protectors.

And Stephen Hawking is a fool.
Quite aside from the number of neurons you have at any given time is what you do with your brain. You can't read and play a sport (though you can walk and listen to an audiobook). If you can't do much other than read, on the other hand, you will probably read a lot. But what do you really want for yourself? The article seems to be mainly about staving off the mental deterioration associated with old age. Exercise might help, but so might reading or doing puzzles or thinking deeply about complicated things.

ADDED: Dan from Madison tells his story of exercise, the brain, and Muay Thai.

76 comments:

Palladian said...

The best exercise for brain improvement is walking. Some of my best thinking occurs while walking.
"Working out" at a gym has the opposite effect I think.

Palladian said...

I'll add that I think there's a great difference between people who exercise and people who get exercise through the conduct of their life. There's often wisdom in the latter. The former is often futility. And almost nothing dulls the brain like sloth. Except maybe spending time at a gym.

hdhouse said...

Back when I took the GRE, Miller's, LSAT, etc., and there were no prep books, classes, or courses in test taking the common advice was to take a brisk walk or even have moderate exercise ending an hour or so before the exam started. To that end, when I took the Millers at Columbia (which was all into thinking about such things) the test site was moved to a top floor and the "elevators out of order" sign was hung.

Political correctness won out even then as it was pointed out that any physically handicapped person would have severe problems with a 6th floor walkup.

I don't know why I thought about that.

Pogo said...

Of course exercise improves your brain. That's why all the jocks in high school were also the dweebs with pocket protectors.

And Stephen Hawking is a fool.

Cedarford said...

Well, Michael Vick is in much better shape than me, but superfreak athletic genes and tons of exercise haven't helped his brains "none too much".

I do think, however, that light-to-moderate exercise is conducive to better thinking and some working problems out. Walking, swimming, golf...Hunting is great for clearing the head and sharpening the senses..

Housecleaning - that busywork you put off or hard cleaning, picking up activities, mowing a large lawn with a pushmower? That is exercise and seems to work, but not as good as hiking, swimming or golf, certainly not as good as fishing or hunting - as I believe I have expressed to my wife.....

Others say take a half hour nap before a big decision. Like I could nap before a "major decision!".

A few people I know swear that gaming helps them think better, though you have to laugh a bit when a doughy gamer insists it is "exercise".

ricpic said...

Exercise is b-o-o-o-r-i-n-g.

SteveR said...

People who obsess over exercise need to feel there is some benefit besides vanity.

The biggest helper for me is clarity, get rid of distractions (stressors) and I will think more clearly.

"Improve" my brain? Exercise (especially in the latter form Palladian describes) may improve some things but my brain, I don't know. By all means, convince yourself.

Ann Althouse said...

AJD: I am now banning you permanently from the comments. Do not comment again. If you are in any way a decent person, you will accept this fate and be gone. If you do not, you will be conceding that you are a harasser -- like one of my other banned commenters who lacks the grace to leave -- and my response will be -- as with her -- to delete all of your posts unread. And please, everyone else, do not engage with him or any other banned commenter.

Ann Althouse said...

I think there should be a brain improvement that has to do with thinking in more interesting terms than "improvement."

jane said...

When I exorcise, my mind is more lucid and attitude more beatific..., AJD.

jane said...

Oops, wasn't trying to engage him. It's just that projecting one's inner demons is what trolls do.

AllenS said...

Good for you, Ann. Telling some commenters to take a hike, would be excellent exercise for them.

tjl said...

"nothing dulls the brain like sloth. Except maybe spending time at a gym."

Palladian, you wouldn't say that if you invested an hour in a workout at the end of each workday. It helps clear your mind of distractions. It releases tension that prevents clear thinking. It guarantees a good night's sleep and a fresh start the next morning.

And you get even more mental stimulation (at least at a gay gym) from the gossip and repartee.

Joseph Hovsep said...

The article isn't saying that we should devote ourselves to physical exercise instead of doing puzzles or thinking deeply, etc. We can do both, and both are beneficial. The article is simply exploring the relatively less intuitive--but still pretty obvious--claim that keeping your body in good physical shape can improve cognitive ability as well.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

Of course exercise improves your brain. That's why all the jocks in high school were also the dweebs with pocket protectors.

And Stephen Hawking is a fool.


Pogo, I think that if you were familiar with some of the studies of the relationship between exercise and cognition, you wouldn't have written such a silly and illogical comment.

Pogo, as you say you are a doctor, I encourage you to read about the research of Charles Hillman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here is a good starting point.

Pogo said...

Cyrus,
Such a need to lecture you have. I know of the research, thank you. I was making a comment about the obvious failing s of that, evident to anyone with a little sense.

dbp said...

The feeling I get after excercise is that it clears my mind. It may actually do this, though my purpose is for physical rather than mental health. It is also possible that it just clouds my judgement as to how well my mind is working.

Smilin' Jack said...

Ann Althouse said...

Exercise might help, but so might reading or doing puzzles or thinking deeply about complicated things.

Palladian said...

The best exercise for brain improvement is walking. Some of my best thinking occurs while walking.
"Working out" at a gym has the opposite effect I think...I'll add that I think there's a great difference between people who exercise and people who get exercise through the conduct of their life. There's often wisdom in the latter. The former is often futility. And almost nothing dulls the brain like sloth. Except maybe spending time at a gym.


Sounds like you guys need to pump some iron or something. Anyone can "think"--i.e. speculate and pontificate--anything about this question. The point of the article was to present the results of some scientific research on the matter.

Fen said...

Not physical exercise so much, but SEX. Releases hormones that increase intelligence... I'm opening up a "workshop" for any females that want to realize their potential.

Pogo said...

Re: "the results of some scientific research on the matter"

All scientific research shows is an effect of exercise on tests of cognition. The evidence is clear that -in general- sedentary people who watch TV are more likely to get Alzhemier's disease, and those who exercise regualarly note a benefit on intelligence tests.

Of course one cannot commit an error by forgetting there are those who fall ouside this dictum and are bright but flabby. And some people are very bright and have no phsyical ability at al, e.g. Hawking. Some very stupid people exercise all the time.

The reseaerch is merely proof that exercise is good for you in many ways. Quite a revelation, that.

Ann Althouse said...

"...you wouldn't say that if you invested an hour in a workout at the end of each workday. It helps clear your mind of distractions."

Why all this talk of emptying the mind? Why is that considered better? It seems to me that you're talking about troubled emotions and mental disorder, not the presence of thoughts. Why is your mind so mixed up and distracted? Isn't this "clearing" business one more distraction rather than a move toward order and sanity?

jane said...

Don't understand the doubters here. Don't bloggers get smarter from all their vigorous keyboarding, coffee cup lifting and nervous leg activity?

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

Althouse is right, I hate an empty mind. And, for some of us, our workday involves a lot of physical activity, so the idea of doing it artificially at a gym is ridiculous. It's the idea of a structured place full of strangers sweating and watching CNN that is so distasteful to an active mind.

Galvanized said...

Two very important things to consider in staving off the effects of old age -- poor hearing and failing eyesight. Exercise improves both! A mental workout is no substitute, so it is crucial to stay physically fit, especially in old age.

Galvanized said...

Bahahaa to jane's comment. :D''' I didn't realize I left my webcam on!

tjl said...

"Why is your mind so mixed up and distracted? Isn't this "clearing" business one more distraction rather than a move toward order and sanity?"

Ann, during the course of a typical day in court, one accumulates a lot of mental baggage. A client refused your advice, opposing counsel withdrew a settlement offer you'd been counting on, a judge denied your motion on arbitrary grounds, the garage called and said your car won't be ready and they can't say when it will be, etc., etc.

A workout lessens the general feeling of tension and frustration. With the decks cleared of petty annoyances, it's easier to focus on those things that you can actually do something about. It's not a process of emptying the mind, it's a process of winnowing out the chaff. The less noise, the stronger the signal.

Maxine Weiss said...

"What do you think?" ---Althouse

Eureka! That's how she does it. That's how Althouse manipulates readers into commenting on her Blog.

Very clever.

Joan said...

Why do we never read the comments of the people for whom exercise was not beneficial in the least?

Maxine Weiss said...

I see the Blogads have changed since Althouse moved from Wisconson.

"Meet the Meat" a pro-Animal Rights ad criticizing the cattle industry---which Althouse would never dare run when she was living in the Midwest.

jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smilin' Jack said...

Pogo said...
Re: "the results of some scientific research on the matter"

All scientific research shows is an effect of exercise on tests of cognition.


From the article:

“The current findings are the first, to our knowledge, to confirm the benefits of exercise training on brain volume in aging humans,” the authors concluded.

Were you exercising instead of reading?

Incidentally, was I the only one to notice the curious use of "euthanize" rather than "kill" in this article when referring to the lab mice? Is this some new kind of PETA-driven PC? It's not like the mice were being put out of their misery, after all.

Pogo said...

"the first, to our knowledge"

The first to correlate brain volume, very late in the list of folks to describe the phenomenon of exercise benfit in Alzheimer's.


"Were you exercising instead of reading?"
Smilin' Jack, why the irritant and snide tone? What gives?

PatCA said...

Exercise may help the brain, but it "definately" doesn't do much for your spelling acumen!

Smilin' Jack said...

"Were you exercising instead of reading?"
Smilin' Jack, why the irritant and snide tone? What gives?


I just think it's amusing that many commenters here are touting the benefits of reading over exercise, but some don't even seem to have read the article they're commenting on, or to have gotten much out of it if they did.

And Maxine, that "Meat the Meat" ad has been there forever.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SnowDahlia said...

Why is an empty mind "better"? Well ... it's not always better, obviously. But in our hyperactive society, where we're all on the phone, on the internet, planning dinner, driving our car and yelling at our kids at the same time, emptying the mind is indeed a wonderful thing. Try a little yoga, then you won't have to ask.

Roger said...

I don't know if exercise "improves the brain" (meaning, precisely, what?), but I do exercise during the noon hour in lieu of lunch and the exercise goes a long way toward relieving stress which helps me do better in the afternoon.

Anthony said...

Working out isn't necessarily about "clearing" one's mind or "emptying it" as much as it is a way of focusing it on something else for a while. Why do people play golf? Or tennis?

Also "People who obsess over exercise need to feel there is some benefit besides vanity."

Actually, we have a lot more benefits, like less stress, better cardiovascular function, decreased risk of heart attack, etc.

Richard Dolan said...

I can't say whether exercise improves the brain (wouldn't surprise me if it did), but I find moderate exercise (particularly in the morning) quite effective in getting the body out of a general state of the blahs. Most mornings I walk to work over the Brooklyn Bridge. By the time I get to my office, I'm more alert than when I take the subway, and it's easier to focus mentally. During the walk, I listen to music or audiobooks (today it was poets reading their stuff). By the time I get to the first tower on the Bridge, pretty much everything else is tuned out so that I can just listen closely without the usual distractions. Nothing special about walking per se -- it's just that walking alone as a form of activity creates the time and space to listen, see or think, while giving the body something to keep it occupied in the meantime.

In other posts, Ann has touted Damasio's books, which are all about the connectedness of one's mental faculties -- reasoning, emotions, feelings -- and how they all originate in and relate to the brain's mapping of body states. I don't recall offhand whether Damasio discussed the impact of exercise on the brain's ability to function, or the neural mapping of body states that he sees as key to mental functions generally. But in helping dispell the body's general lethargy and slowness in the morning (the "blahs" I mentioned earlier), his general thesis suggests that it should.

At any rate, it works for me.

Pogo said...

Re: " but some don't even seem to have read the article "
Sorry, Jack, but I read it and it was like a hundred other such articles that cross my desk every year. It ain't news.

Galvanized said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Galvanized said...

Yes, Maxine, the "Meet the Meat" ad HAS been up there forever. And the video is not for the weak-stomached. It will persuade you to pass on meat dishes for a while. It, along with a couple of other recent exposes of corporate megaranching, made us decide to buy only free-range, organic meat from now on, even though it's about twice the cost. I understand animal husbandry practices and simple slaughter, but gross overcrowding and bloody procedures performed without anesthetic, animals that are overly developed on hormones and unable to stand and run, living next to dead ones, never setting foot outside or even out of a cage packed to capacity until death...not my idea of the wholesome ranching life. And I'm a meat-loving Texan. Ugh...

. said...

what makes you think free range organic meat is treated more humanely?

jane said...

Physicality still matters. Our minds need body, and vice versa. Most people live more optimally when both are exercised. But there are always the exceptions, and living “optimally” is up for interpretation.

We’ve become an affluent, more mental (and arguably less), sedentary society, in which manual labor and exertion aren’t the default norm. Not as many of us work the fields or have to do pre-modern convenience housework, walk everywhere or have to climb stairs. In the past, genteel folk who rose above labor went through periods thinking it fitting and moral to be fit, via certain team sports or daily constitutionals.

Mostly now, though, middle-upper classes play HS sports to get to the right college, engage in extreme sports to entertain themselves, and go to the gym in adulthood to be sexy or stave off mortality. Which reminds me, the elliptical trainer beckons. To improve my mind, please understand.

Galvanized said...

. said...

what makes you think free range organic meat is treated more humanely?


http://www.amic.org.au/Content_Common/pg-freerangeorganic.seo
http://www.mercola.com/forms/chicken.htm
http://trusted.md/blog/vreni_gurd/200
6/12/01/conventional_vs_organic_vs_free_range_meat_poultry_eggs_and_dairy

. said...

ok, here are my three links that refute your three links...

http://goveg.com/organic_eggs.asp

http://www.cok.net/lit/freerange.php

http://tinyurl.com/2d7hvg

..i used tiny url for the last one because the link was so long.. and, i used google's cached page because the original - http://www.meatsucks.com/organic.asp - appears to be down..

blake said...

I seem to recall studies that indicated that on average, the more athletic students were also better students. On average, mind you.

Jocks are stupid--when they are stupid, and there are plenty in the Alison Stokke mold--because they shun education, not because they exercise. (Just as, it should be noted, nerds are flabby because they shun exercise, not necessarily because they're unable.)

The brain needs oxygen. Lots of it. Draw your own conclusions.

Roger said...

Good Heavens!! scroll down the list of comments on the NYT site. Looks like a support group for depressed, panic disordered, and apparently every other type of phobia known to modern personkind. Ann: escape from Brooklyn before you become one of them!!

John Stodder said...

This thread shows how in our culture we mean many different things when we talk about "the mind."

Of course exercise won't turn a stupid person into a smarter person. And it's not quite the same thing as meditation.

But the brain is an organ of the body, not some independent resource like a hard drive that we simply call upon for intellectual processes. From an evolutionary perspective, the body/mind dichotomy doesn't exist. Growing and maintaining the relatively enormous human brain exerts a huge draught against our energy resources. And while I liked Pogo's comment, there isn't a huge operational difference between the functioning of Stephen Hawking's brain and a high school quarterback's. Both use language and abstract reasoning, for which a large and well-functioning brain is required.

If exercise improves the heart and lungs, it surely improves the functioning of the brain.

As Einstein is supposed to have said, "Genius is 10 percent inspiration, 90 percent perspiration." What does that tell you?

bill said...

As Einstein is supposed to have said, "Genius is 10 percent inspiration, 90 percent perspiration." What does that tell you?

That even Einstein couldn't bend the laws of physics to give 110%.

nick danger said...

As Einstein is supposed to have said, "Genius is 10 percent inspiration, 90 percent perspiration." What does that tell you?

It tells me that Einstein and Edison are apparently indistinguishable.

John Stodder said...

I think that 90/10 comment is attributed to every intelligent person. My son will be hearing it was Steve Jobs who said it.

It was probably from Hallmark.

Pal2Pal said...

A well rounded plan of brain and body exercise is best.

Good readers better able to retain brain skills

Christy said...

I, too, have been reading about this for a long time.

FWIW, my mom, about to turn 80, a brilliant woman in her prime, goes to the gym 3 days a week, wore out an electronic hand held solitaire game and is working on another, is addicted to word puzzles, has my sister and her two boys and a homeless woman living with her, has two or three social events a week, is a voracious reader, and has the short term memory of a turnip. She manages by maintaining a detailed calendar and faking it very well.

We were shopping at Christmas and I left her in the car for a quick trip inside a toy store. When I came out she was gone. Getting her by cell she said she had moved closer to the door, hadn't I seen her? It took her 15 minutes to get to me, so I know she had been on her way home.

The good news is that she got to try on or pick out all her Christmas presents and was still surprised Christmas morning.

I have found that stress and anger interfere with clear thinking. An hour of racquetball was always useful for reducing both. Unfortunately I developed a problem aggravated by the game and any other vigorous exercise other than swimming. Swimming just doesn't feel as efficient for the anger management.

David said...

Exercise increases stamina, which is helpful in an academic or intellectually challenging work environment.

Joan said...

Christy -- my heart goes out to you, and your mom. Mine is in much the same condition, although she has some physical problems deal with. She goes to the gym for swimming and exercise at least 5 days a week. It doesn't help her short-term memory problems or general anxiety a bit, but it does help her arthritis.

Pal2Pal said...

Christy: Your Mom sounds like the way my Mom was, although she was closer to 90 when her short term memory began to slip due to small TIAs. She kept a small pocket notebook with her at all times to write reminders to herself. She swam 3 times a week and had a 3 mile route that she walked every day. She played bridge once a week, learned to use and program on a computer when she was in her mid 80s and for several years we enjoyed playing email Scrabble with each other. She also traveled extensively up to the age of 91, making a trip to China and hiking the Great Wall at the age of 89 and going camping in the High Sierras until into her 90s. She lived to age 94. The doctors said that physically, except for the major brain damage from her stroke, she had the heart and muscle health of someone in their 30s. She was asked her secret for longevity and answered: 2 tblspoons of Brewer's Yeast in her orange juice every morning, daily exercise, learning something new each and every day, a good laugh and lots of love.

knoxwhirled said...

Can't comment on whether it makes me "smarter"... but running sure clears my head, reduces stress and improves my mood.

You'd have to pay me a lot of $$$ to set foot in a gym, though. I had a temporary membership once and I hated every second I spent working out on those machines; there's something yucky about exercising indoors.

class-factotum said...

The only reason to exercise is so you can eat cupcakes with impunity.

Pogo said...

Theory: We are living in another age of health fanaticism, very much like that of the mid-to-late 1800s in the US. Then, it was all about bowels and mudbaths. Kellogs and Post cereals were born. Ibsen's play An Enemy of the People deals with it in one aspect. Right-living was felt to be the cure for all maladies.

The Result: People still got sick and died. Those who fell ill were now blamed for their illnesses, and the old and infirm were viewed as dispensible. In 1905, as the 55-year-old Dr. William Osler famously remarked that men older than 60 years should be chloroformed because they were no longer useful.

Prediction: We will see some of the same negativity toward the ill reappear, talk of their being a burden on society,about euthanasia (willing, pressured, and unwilling), and a rejection of oppressive and mandatory healthy lifestyles (i.e. booze and smoking resurge) once people figure out that despite all that effort you may become demented, no matter that you did all the right things, and you are going to die despite your best efforts at eating heart healthy meals.

Just my guess.

Pal2Pal said...

Pogo: We will see some of the same negativity toward the ill reappear, talk of their being a burden on society,about euthanasia (willing, pressured, and unwilling), and a rejection of oppressive and mandatory healthy lifestyles (i.e. booze and smoking resurge) once people figure out that despite all that effort you may become demented, no matter that you did all the right things, and you are going to die despite your best efforts at eating heart healthy meals.

We are there now. When I informed the health care professionals that I intended to care for my Mother after her stroke, they sent social workers to accost me. Doctors, nurses and the social services people could not understand why I would consider it my duty, as an only child, to help my Mother in her last years. One asked, "why would you want to interrupt your life? It isn't natural." She then filed a report that was so negative, it made me sick and all the more determined to get my Mother away from these people as fast as possible. She wrote, "Sara seems to consider it both her duty and obligation to care for her Mother when she is discharged. This bears close scrutiny to determine her true motives, since the best course would be for her to place her Mother in a nursing home and visit once a month on Sundays." And no one, but myself and my son, seemed to care what my Mother wanted. All they knew was they would lose her Medicaid payments so forget her personal wishes or mine as her legally designated decision maker through her Power of Attorney for Health Care and Instruction to Physicians.

And when my cousin discovered that her 90 year old father did not even have a bed for sleep in the nursing home he was in, she was furious. They kept him tied down in a recliner and his leg muscles were atrophying. She made arrangements to bring him home and care for him herself and they called the police on her to try to prevent her from leaving the home with him. Fortunately my Uncle was lucid and spoke up and told the nurses and policeman to eff off, he was a WWII vet and no one was going to hold him prisoner.

jane said...

There are good nursing and retirement homes, but the idea of putting a loved one, a parent or spouse, into one just slays me. I, myself, want to "go" in my own homestead-- eventually-- four or five decades from now. Please, dear child, know this!

But which helps achieve longevity and old-age health better- exercise or being happy? And, is living long and OK even close to living short and satisfied?

cyrus pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

We are living in another age of health fanaticism ...

Pogo, encouraging people in age- and health-appropriate exercise is hardly "health fanaticism." If, as you suggest, "we are living in another age of health fanaticism," how do you account for the prevalence of obesity in Americans of all ages?

Christy said...

Pal2Pal, what an awful experience!

Thanks P2P and Joan for your commiseration. Our own anecdotal experience makes clear that one can take all the right preventive measures and still lose function.

Pal2Pal said...

But which helps achieve longevity and old-age health better- exercise or being happy? And, is living long and OK even close to living short and satisfied?

Jane: After my Mother retired from a high-powered career, she became rather depressed with her dull life. Then Reagan was elected and she realized they were the same age. She said it was like a shot in the arm to realize that you could create a whole new world for yourself after the age of 70 and she set about doing just that.

When my Mother first had her stroke, she told me she was not afraid to die because she had had a full and interesting life. When she did not die right away, she told me a year or so later, "honey, I'm not ready yet, we have too much yet to learn about each other as adult women." The week of her death, she changed again. She told me, "I'm ready because I think you are ready to accept my death and it'll be okay."

I firmly believe it isn't health (as long as pain can be controlled) or happiness but retaining the ability to hope and dream that leads to a good life.

jane said...

pal2pal,

Beautifully said. And how fortunate for you both that you enjoyed, and nurtured, such a soul-feeding relationship.

Pogo said...

Re: "how do you account for the prevalence..."

The fanatics rule, though they are few, and do not even follow their own prescriptions. But they have a love for power and establishing directives for the commoners. The Nanny State. It's far beyond mere encouragement; it's mandatory. And it has little to do with health per se.

Smoking bans are a good example.

blake said...

Pogo,

I think there's a lot of truth to that. There are many similarities between our current interest in health and our previous one--even similar technologies (snake oil, if you like) being pushed. And the desire of humanity to be able to affix responsibility for the uncontrollable to a controllable factor is eternal.

Pal2Pal, I've been in a similar situation, though in my case, the hostility came from the family. Intriguingly, the question of "Why would you want to take in an infirm older relative" was usually followed by "unless it were me, of course".

mythusmage said...

Moderate exercise helps you figure out bothersome problems in this manner; you're occupied enough on the activity that you let go of the quandry, but not so occupied you can think of nothing else. Yard work, house work, a walk or a jog are good ways to get your mind off a problem that has you hung up.

Pogo said...

Pal2Pal
Nicely said. I have seen such dramas play out many times. The shift of care from family to state has indeed reached the phase where one is supect for not refusing responsibility for one's family.

The modern expectation from childhood to old age is that family is near-meaningless; paid strangers are now considered the most appropriate venue to provide care.

blake said...

Hey, paid strangers take care of the children, why not the old folks?

cyrus pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

And it has little to do with health per se. Smoking bans are a good example.

Can you clarify this? Are you denying the scientifically established link between passive smoking and health risk?

Pogo said...

Re: "Are you denying the scientifically established link "

Why would you conclude that?
I'm talking about the regulatory approach to health care, Cyrus; it's part of the Nanny State's use of healthcare for enlarging control over the citizenry.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

Why would you conclude that?

Because, Pogo, you wrote this...

And it has little to do with health per se. Smoking bans are a good example.

This leads me to believe that you have concluded that smoking bans have "little to do with health" concerns linked with passive smoking. So I'll ask again, with different wording, in the hope of getting an answer:

In what way do smoking bans have "little to do with health per se?"

Zitro said...

Just wanted to post this link saying that excercise actually improves the brain.

http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/exercise.html