Many people think of physical exercise primarily in relation to their body and musculature. But physical exercise is definitely about your brain, too. According to Richard Restak, MD, “Exercise is the single most powerful tool you have to optimize your brain function.” How so? Dr. Kenneth Guiffre in The Care and Feeding of Your Brain indicated that physical exercise helps the brain to ‘boot up’ efficiently, much as you would boot up a computer. Your brain has no muscle tissue per se. Physical exercise enhances blood flow to the brain. This not only brings increased amounts of oxygen, glucose, and nutrition to brain tissues but also releases and washes away toxins and waste substances that have accumulated in the brain. Some even refer to exercise as a general antioxidant. Studies of men and women over age 65 found that those who exercised were less likely to lose their mental abilities or develop dementia. But start now. In The Owner’s Manual for the Brain, Dr. Pierce J. Howard points out that benefits are associated with long-term exercise. More tomorrow.