There is no doubt that regular exercise is good for our physical health and longevity. Exercise is also beneficial for our mental health and cognitive function. The research that was published in the journal Neurology showed that regular exercise may help slow or prevent brain shrinkage in people in the very early stages of the Alzheimer’s disease.
Many other studies show that physical activity helps to boost overall brain power, and increase productivity and mood. If you dread workout, hopefully, you will change your mind after you read the following reasons exercise is good for your brain:
1. It reduces the risk of cognitive decline
When we are young, we rarely think about what can happen to our brain in our 60s-70s. Regular exercise has been shown to prevent the impairment of brain cells as well as the loss of coordination associated with Parkinson’s disease. Making exercise a habit in your 20s will help you preserve an excellent cognitive function till your 70s, or so.
2. Fights emotional disorders
Exercise can cause the release of feel-good endorphins, which boost the feelings of happiness and wellness. Numerous studies prove that regular physical activity helps to fight stress, anxiety, mood swings, and depression. Running is one of the most effective exercises that can help combat emotional disorders.
3. Keeps your brain young
We can’t avoid aging, but the happy news is that we can slow it down and stay younger longer. Regular exercise helps to increase your brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels (aka, BDHF -an essential protein that influences the peripheral nervous system and brain function). It keeps and regenerates adult nerve cells, and supports cognitive function.
BDNF helps to slow down brain aging and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Do not expect a boost in BDNF after one workout session, though. You should exercise on a daily basis – for at least 20 minutes a day.
4. Improves concentration
Having trouble concentrating on important tasks? Move your body, because exercise helps to clear your mind, calm your nerves, and improve concentration and attention. According to the study by the University of Illinois, 60 minutes of exercise a day improve children’s concentration, so why not make your little ones your workout buddies?
5. Improves your memory and reaction time
Sedentary couch potatoes have a higher risk of developing dementia and memory loss than people who work out on a daily basis. Biking, running, jogging and walking are all good options. But according to a study by the Dr. Scott Small of the National Academy of Sciences, regular aerobic exercise can keep your memory sharp.
The study showed that a 3-month vigorous aerobic exercise program seemed to produce new neurons in the hippocampus – a part of the brain responsible for memory, and improvements on tests of mental recall.
6. Boosts your mental performance
College students who work out on a regular basis claim they learn better and easier that those who spend days and nights with books without exercise. Instead of drinking your next cup of coffee, go for a walk, practice yoga or go swimming. Not only will you boost your mental performance, but also improve your immune system and increase your energy levels naturally.
7. Exercise can help you make difficult decisions
If you have difficulty making decisions, consider incorporating a 20-minute workout into your daily routine. The thing is, exercise helps you think faster and clearly. As a result, you have more chances to make a hard decision faster than when your mind is overloaded with tons of different thoughts and ideas.
8. Makes you feel happy
It is not a secret that happy people tend to live longer than those with pessimistic attitudes. Exercise increases levels of serotonin, endorphins, and other brain chemicals that instantly improve your mood and make you feel happy. This is one of the best benefits of exercising each day, isn’t it?
You do not have to have a workout equipment or a gym membership to boost your brain power. Find some activity that you likes and do it regularly. It can be anything from walking and running to dancing and jumping. Whatever you choose, move your body and enjoy a healthy mind on a daily basis. Do you believe regular exercise is beneficial for us?