Exercise is not only good for your muscles, posture, heart health, and overall health, it is also good for your brain, and as a result, your mood. Research shows that the more you exercise the better for your brain. In fact, aerobic exercise spurs the growth of new brain cells. So, if you are approaching middle-age, or you are a senior, and you feel that your brain power has slowed, get it going again by exercising. The effects of exercise on your brain are all positive.
Our Brains as We Age
Did you know that brain tissue shrinks as we age? Not only that, but the generation of new brain cells slows down as we get older. However, research has shown that aerobic exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells. One research study compared a group of 60 to 79-year-olds who were generally healthy but lived sedentary lives, to a control group consisting of the same. The control group incorporated stretching and toning exercises into their lifestyles, while the test group performed aerobic fitness training. After a six-month period, the group that performed the aerobic exercises showed significant increases in brain volume compared with the control group.
Exercise and Your Brain
Exercise generates the release of certain chemicals in the brain that have a positive effect on the brain itself, but also on your mind and body. One of these chemicals is BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which stimulates the growth and proliferation of brain cells, particularly in the hippocampus which is not only largely responsible for memory but which is particularly vulnerable to age-related decline. The more you exercise, the more BDNF you produce. In addition, the production of the chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which help regulate mood, is increased and so are endorphins the “feel good” chemicals that help fight anxiety and depression. If that’s not enough to get you off your duff, cardio exercises boost much-needed oxygen to your brain and body, which helps keep your brain healthy and improve brain function.
About Urban Vybe of Flower Mound, TX
Come live, love, and have some fun while nurturing your mind, body, and soul at Urban Vybe. We offer a variety of yoga classes, HIIT, Group Training, nutrition, meditation, and more. Sign up for our newsletter here.