According to The Huffington Post endurance training may not just have physical advantages but mental ones as well.

Researchers found that physical activity helps in the production of a molecule called irisin, which "boosts the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor." This factor has been known to safeguard the brain from deterioration, which may lead to neurological conditions. Irisin also reportedly increases the activity of genes related to memory and learning.

"Our results indicate that FNDC5/irisin has the ability control a very important neuroprotective pathway in the brain," notes researcher Dr. Bruce Spiegelman of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

So to have a holistic approach to a healthier lifestyle, participate in activities that help you go the distance, such as running, swimming, and biking. Just don't forget to give your body ample time to recover every time you beat your personal best!

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(Photo by jayhem via Flickr Creative Commons)