The cranial perks of your sweat session are still in play long after you’ve hit the shower. Researchers in Ireland had students perform brain-taxing tests and then had half the group ride stationary bikes for 30 minutes while the others chilled out. They then repeated the test and the students who exercised did significantly better, while the ones who lazed about showed no improvement. The likely reason: the pedallers had much higher blood levels of BDNF. Because it’s most active in the hippocampus, cortex and basal forebrain – areas vital to learning, memory and higher thinking – surges of the protein may contribute to why adults who exercise display sharper memory skills, higher concentration levels, more fluid thinking and reasoning and greater problem-solving than those who stay sedentary. POWER UP: Even if you’re lying in a pool of your own sweat, barely able to move, try to think positively. Focus on how good your workout made you feel, even if that’s stretching the truth. Over time, it could help your brain adhere to those thoughts and make you less resistant to lacing up.