How Simple Exercise Daily Improves Brain Health
Besides the obvious benefits to one’s body and physical wellbeing, being physically active can help improve one’s cognitive functions as well as slow the declines in brain function that naturally come with age. The truth is that the brain is similar to the muscles in your body – if you don’t use it, you will lose it. We go to the gym to stimulate our muscles to grow, but are there any brain boosts that come as a result of us hitting the gym? According to some studies, even a short burst of exercise can facilitate memory functions and information processing.
The brain’s plasticity gets stimulated through the exercise with the growth of new neurological connections in important cortical areas of the brain. Have you ever experienced the runner’s high and its antidepressant effect? Yes, physical and mental wellbeing are interconnected.
Improved Brain Function
Physical exercise can lead to an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that may reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Being physically in shape is associated with increased neuronal fiber integrity. Exercise is also known to improve cognition and memory.
Reduced Anxiety and Stress
There are long-term as well as immediate benefits to exercising. After one training session, there’s a greater chance that you’ll experience positive achievements and events throughout that same day. If it improves your cognitive function, it’s obvious why you can achieve more. The benefits of exercising add up after a few sessions. According to this research, inactive people that started running and walking program experienced reductions in anxiety and stress as well as improvements in memory after only four weeks. Exercise also helps to reduce symptoms of depression.
Exercise and Endocannabinoids
Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters associated with our brain’s reward system, and the brain releases them through activity. It also releases hormones like endorphins, which are also known as the happy hormones– they have morphine-like sedative properties and help suppress pain. In this 2017 study, people who participated in supervised exercise sessions reported feeling a decrease in a negative mood, tension, and depression as well as an increase in endocannabinoids. All these effects are believed to lead to the feeling of runner’s high.
How to Choose the Right Exercise?
Exercises that are good for your heart are good for your brain, such as aerobic exercise. It improves your brain functions but also helps regenerate your damaged brain cells. To spike your brain activity for the day, get prepared for the up-and-coming stresses and enhance retention of information, you should exercise in the morning. When in the gym, go for circuit workouts that will quickly boost your heart rate and redirect attention. If you want to change your workout routine, sign up for a dance class, Tai Chi, Yoga, or anything else that includes cardiovascular exercise and coordination.
It’s clear that 150 minutes (at least) of exercise each week at moderate-to-vigorous intensity levels will boost your brain function and improve your brain health. Whether you have a daily yoga practice, ride a bike to work, play basketball, or rune – your mind will benefit. Keep yourself motivated with our inspirational socks! Nothing should hold you back towards getting better, more fit, and healthier. We, at Inspyr, want to help you with your dreams.