Exercise and brain power: work your muscles to strengthen your mental faculties

Estimated read time 5 min read

Exercise and brain health are closely linked. Indeed, just like the muscles of the arms and legs, the brain functions optimally when we exercise regularly. Despite the fact that none of the equipment in the gym works the brain, it still benefits from physical activity .

The increased heart rate activates the brain. Sure, being active is good for weight control and memory, but the brain also benefits from the increased blood circulation that comes with regular exercise.

When it has access to plenty of blood and nutrients, the brain is primed to perform at peak performance . Moving daily also allows new neurons to grow while strengthening neural pathways. Exercise improves memory and helps maintain cognitive health as you age.

Are you ready to increase the intensity of your daily training to maximize your brain power? Start by discovering all the ways physical activity supports brain health.

The science of exercise and the brain

Current research links regular exercise to improved brain function. Moving for as little as 30-45 minutes a day is enough to trigger a cascade of memory-maintaining benefits. Explore five ways working out can support your cognitive abilities.

1. Exercise increases the size of the hippocampus

The hippocampus is the area of ​​the brain responsible for verbal learning and memory. When you exercise, the volume of the hippocampus increases: it grows, literally. The neurons in the hippocampus become denser and the connections in this region are strengthened through physical activity.

The hippocampus is the first area of ​​the brain to lose strength with age. Regular exercise helps maintain its sharpness and protects it against the normal decline associated with aging.

Exercise also increases activity in this center of memory and learning. Just 10 minutes of light to moderate exercise is enough to strengthen the connections between neurons and memory regions of the brain.

Improved connections in the hippocampus can lead to better scores on tests of memory and cognitive skills . Short exercise sessions – which may be more suitable for your busy life – can even help memorization. This may include the ability to remember where you parked the car, or what your appointments are for the day. So think about your hippocampus and all the good you’re doing to it the next time you hit the gym.

2. Working out reduces the production of stress-related hormones that inhibit brain activity

Many people relieve stress by going for a walk or a run. When you’re stressed, so is your brain, and exercise is a powerful tool for relaxing your mind.

Physical activity reduces the production of stress hormones (cortisol and norepinephrine in particular) that build up in your brain when you have worries and experience anxiety. When present in excess, stress hormones can lead to lethargy and difficulty concentrating, which can slow down your cognitive skills and dampen your brain power.

Get out of the fog of stress by planning regular exercise sessions. The endorphins released in your brain after exercise rid it of stress hormones and improve your mood. Exercise and endorphins also stimulate hippocampal growth – as you learned earlier.

The brain and the body need exercise to relax. Make physical activity a priority so you can think clearly and improve your mood.

3. Exercise Promotes Quality Sleep

Another way exercise helps improve your mind is by helping you sleep well at night. In fact, taking on physical challenges every day makes it easier to doze off, in addition to training the type of sleep that helps you feel refreshed and refreshed in the morning.

Restful sleep also improves mental clarity and executive functions. You need quality sleep to be able to concentrate, make decisions and manage your emotions. Even though the brain continues to work while you sleep, sleep gives it a much-needed break by allowing it to rest and prepare for the tasks ahead. After a good night’s sleep, he is at his peak, cognitive abilities are sharpened and memory is strengthened. Start training to benefit your sleep and brain power.

Memory depends on neural pathways and connections deep in the brain. The brain needs proteins, called growth factors, to create new connections and strengthen existing ones. Fortunately, regular exercise is an easy way to increase the amount of growth factors available to the brain.

This protein helps the brain synthesize new cells and preserve aging ones. BDNF is also responsible for the formation of new blood vessels in and around the brain, allowing more nutrients and blood to flow to this area.

Get moving if you want to help your brain grow and get the blood and nutrients it needs. BDNF levels increase every time you exercise, even for just a few minutes. That is to say, it only takes a few minutes of activity to support brain health.

4. Regular exercise slows brain aging

Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean the brain has to slow down. There are changes you can make to your lifestyle to preserve your memory and mental acuity. A lifelong habit of exercise can help keep your brain healthy later on.

A study on the link between memory and exercise illustrates this reality well. Research shows that older adults who exercised regularly during their youth consistently outperform their peers on memory and cognitive ability tests. In fact, their results are comparable to those of others who are up to ten years younger than them.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours