We all know that in order to be healthy and fit, we need to exercise. But what is often pushed into the background is the fact that exercise is actually the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain. In this article, you will find out the real benefits of exercise to your brain and how it affects your life for the better.
Here are three benefits of exercise that you may not know about.
Exercising has immediate effects on the brain. A single workout will immediately increase levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline which is the main factor for a better mood after the workout.
Recent studies have shown that a single workout will even improve the attention function on the prefrontal cortex. This will increase the ability to shift and focus attention not just after the workout but long term.
Working out changes the brain’s anatomy, physiology and function. It even produces brand-new brain cells that increase the volume of the hippocampus, which improves your long-term memory
Working out makes the body and more importantly the mind more stress-resistant.
The Ability to regulate emotions like rage, grief, or hunger is a crucial skill in decision-making. Working out regularly will improve the capacity in dealing with these emotions.
Think of your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex as a muscle. The more you work out, the bigger and stronger they get. These two Brain Areas are the most susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases and normal cognitive decline in aging. This doesn’t mean that exercising is the cure to dementia or Alzheimer’s, but it takes longer for these diseases to actually have an effect.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your brain health, there’s no need to look any further than your own backyard – or even your own two feet. That’s right, exercise is actually the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain. And yet, somehow, the benefits of exercise are often overlooked in favor of more flashy interventions like brain games and supplements.
Don’t get me wrong, those things can certainly be helpful. But the truth is that they pale in comparison to the benefits of a good old-fashioned workout. Exercise has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function, protect against age-related mental decline, and even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
So if you’re looking for a way to boost your brainpower, there’s no need to look any further than your local gym. Just a few minutes of exercise each day can make a world of difference for your mental health.
Puetz TW, O’Connor PJ, Dishman RK. Effects of regular exercise on feelings of energy and fatigue: A quantitative synthesis. Psychological Bulletin. 2006;132 (6):866–876
Akshat Sahu and Dhruba Chandi (2021). Brain Changing Advantages of Exercise
Suzuki, W. (2017). The Brain Changing Benefits of Exercise [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/wendy_ suzuki_the_brain_changing_benefits_of_exercise.