You probably know that exercise will make you look better, live longer, have more sex, etc. etc. etc. You know all of this. You're lazy, not stupid. Clearly those positive changes aren't enough for you to resist the siren song of Netflix calling you back to your recliner.
While it's totally fine if you're aiming for a dad bod, there's a pretty good chance you don't want to settle for dementia. That's right: it turns out that your brain needs a fitness regimen just as much as your ass does, because the benefits of exercise extend well beyond your body.
You'll avoid cognitive decline
When you're in your 20s or 30s, the only cognitive decline you typically have to worry about is the kind that happens on Friday and Saturday nights. As you age, though, the habits you form when you're younger can have a deep impact on how things turn out later in life. In fact, scientists have found that, contrary to popular opinion, exercise can help you generate new brain cells, even as an adult, particularly in the hippocampus.
Why is this important for preventing cognitive decline? The hippocampus is the part of the brain that's responsible for long-term memories and spatial navigation. The bad news: it naturally shrinks as you get older, leading to dementia and cognitive decline. You can probably guess that the good news is that exercise can actually increase the size of your hippocampus, by as much as 2%.