We all know that being active is good for your body, but regular exercise is also important for your brain health! As more and more research looks at the relationship between the brain and the body, and as conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer's increase, the importance of brain health is top billing. And it turns out that now more than ever, do we need to exercise.
Sound brain health has a direct impact on life quality in following ways:
1. Improved Cognitive Function
Cognitive function refers to a number of mental abilities including the ability to learn, think, reason, remember, problem solve, decide, and focus. Science has repeatedly drawn a link between higher levels of physical activity and improved cognitive function. The best finding you ask? One study found that even a short, 10-minute exercise is sufficient to improve brain function.
2. Reduction in Stress
In this fast-paced world, stress is a part of life and little goes a long way! The problem is prolonged stress, which leads to a plethora of health concerns. Although stress cannot always be avoided, exercise helps manage it, effectively! Working out reduces stress hormones (such as cortisol and adrenaline) and boosts endorphins (Feel good hormones). Physical activity can help clear your mind of your worries. The movement you repeat during exercise is almost meditative, and it focuses on both— body and mind.
3. Better Sleep
Sleep is essential for brain function. Without sleep, your brain struggles with memory and decision making, making you moody and irritable. We all know how difficult it is to function properly after a bad night's sleep (a great coffee, please!). Regular exercise is a great way to improve your sleep pattern. Not only can it help you sleep faster, but it may also improve the quality of your sleep throughout the night. In case you are worried that physical activity in the evening will stop you from sleeping, then, do not. Research shows that exercising at night, even at high intensity, does not negatively impact your sleep.
4. Boosts Memory
Do you forget where you put your keys? Then, it is time to exercise! Research has repeatedly shown that exercise can help improve your memory. Regular exercise increases the size of your hippocampus—the brain's memory center
. The hippocampus not only retrieves past memory, but also converts short-term memories into long-term ones. A good way to ‘make memories’ we say!
5. Sound Mental Health
How good do you feel after a workout? It doesn't matter how hard it was or how sweaty you are. You always feel great afterwards! Exercise stimulates the secretion of happy hormones such as Dopamine, which have a positive effect on our mood. One study found that less than 10 minutes of physical activity per week can increase a person's happiness.
Not one type of exercise is best for your brain health. In the end, it’s the exercise that you enjoy the most that helps in boosting your brain health.
So, come on. Let’s get moving!