CORAL GABLES, Fla. -

Pumping iron, Pilates, running and yoga are all great ways to stay fit and trim. But while you're working out your body, you're also building brain power.

"It's definitely an area where more questions are evolving as we're getting little bits of information," said John Lewis, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Miami.

Scientists say the increased blood flow to our brains during exercise helps it grow more gray matter, which results in better cognitive function.

"It's just like training your heart, it's like training your lungs, it's like training your muscles -- it's like training any other organ system in the body," said Lewis.

Studies say exercise helps reduce depression and anxiety, and children score better on standardized tests after exercising. Alzheimer's patients also received a boost to their short-term memory after exercising.

"I'm a lot more alert, I'm a lot more focused. I have a lot more energy mentally, I'm a lot more sharper," said former Miami Dolphins safety Louis Oliver.

"After a great workout, when I'm ready to get my day started, I know that that workout has helped me to get my mind flowing," said Leanna Kelly.

Researchers say consistent exercise can enhance our ability to learn.

"All of these things work cohesively and we have to look at the mind and the brain as a part of that cohesive network and, of course, exercise -- it really is our best medicine," said Lewis.