A Smarter Hippocampus
Tucked under your cerebral cortex is a funny-looking gland in your brain called the hippocampus. FUN FACT: Your short- and long-term memory and spatial memory gland is shaped like a seahorse. And it’s all in the name—from the Greek words hippos (horse) and kampos (sea-monster). The hippocampus plays an important role in the formation of new memories, both episodic and autobiographical, and declarative memories.
This is a fancy way of saying the hippocampus can assist you in remembering what you had for breakfast, how to navigate from home to work, and memorizing facts and figures.
Your brain has two hippocampi, bilateral, each located in the medial temporal lobe. Research has shown that damage to the hippocampus can result in the inability to form and retain memories. Conversely, when you supply your hippocampus with oxygenated blood from exercise, it can keep your brain healthy. In addition, exercise helps improve mood and sleep which goes a long way to reduce stress and anxiety.
That’s why it’s important to get aerobic exercise throughout the week.