Brain Health and Exercise
There are tons of benefits to physical activity. Along with a balanced diet, it can lead to better heart health and weight loss. But what about the brain? Recent studies show that regular exercise can improve memory and heighten your mood. As if you needed another reason to get out and exercise, here are the details on how it can aid your brain health:
If you’re experiencing that middle-aged memory fog, you’re not alone. But don’t worry, there’s promising news. In a study from the University of British Colombia, it was found that frequent aerobic exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus, the area in the brain tied to verbal memory. This can lead to better retention and recollection down the road.
There’s also good news if you find yourself experiencing anxiety or depression. If you’ve ever jogged around the block to clear your mind after a stressful day, you’ll probably realize you felt better. This is because there is a strong positive relationship between exercise levels and mood. Experts from Duke University noted in a study on mood and exercise that participants who were regularly active were less depressed than those who were not regularly active. In addition, the experts found that regular exercise could reduce panic-like symptoms in certain patients. Exercise produces similar physical responses to the body’s flight or fight response (sweating, increased heart rate, etc.), so the exercise patients prone to panicking associated these feelings more with comfort than with displeasure.
What all of this boils down to is that exercise can help your brain out just like it can help your figure. Of course, we recommend pairing exercise with a healthy diet. Odds are, if you incorporate a routine of physical activity into your week, you’ll start to experience benefits to your body and mind.