Physical exercise is fantastic for your body as well as your wellbeing. When you exercise, your body becomes stronger, your muscles develop, and your fitness level increases. Lack of exercise can result in early aging and other physical ailments. When the benefits of exercise are evident on your body it’ll motivate you to continue because of the way it makes you feel. Well, research shows that certain exercises are not only good for your body but your brain as well. Let’s have a look at what those are.
Subjects in a recent study were made to cycle on a stationary bicycle. The results showed that there was an increase in blood flow to the brain. This was, in turn, linked to cell growth and an overall increase in brain function. This type of aerobic exercise can also help reduce the risk of hypertension and high blood sugar levels which are ailments that have an impact on the brain.
It has been scientifically proven that exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, improve your mood and memory, and treat depression and anxiety. Any type of exercise that makes you sweat, gets your body moving, and raises your heart rate is known as aerobic exercise. These types of exercises include swimming, running, cycling, hiking, and dancing. The more you partake in these the more benefits you will see. Studies show that doing aerobic exercise two to four times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time is what you should strive for. In so doing, your brain will receive the benefits just as much as your body will.
In 2016, a study on rats revealed that running was associated with brain cell regeneration. New cells generated in the part of the brain that controls the creation and storage of memories. Not only that, but the type of aerobic exercise positively affected synapses between neurons in the brain as well, which resulted in improved communication between the brain cells in that specific area. Another study done on humans this time revealed that students who followed a running program had a significant increase in positive emotions and spatial memory performance.
Yoga has been known to have many benefits because of its low impact and meditation principles. Such slow meditated movements coupled up with controlled breathing during yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety and improves your attention span.
Strength training may not be considered an aerobic exercise, but it also has its benefits. A study done on older adults showed that basically, any type of exercise results in an improvement of cognitive performance. Exercise overall offers benefits for the brain as well as the body.
Exercise is also used as a tool for preventing mental illnesses such as dementia as it slows down the erosion of the brain. Some hospitals even offer exercise as a means of therapy for mental health issues, such as depression. Astonishingly, the results for some patients using exercise as treatment are the same as patients taking medication. The key is to be consistent and do some form of exercise on a weekly basis for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time. Whether you prefer yoga, running, cycling, or strength training, the important thing is that you keep active.