Exercise can help you stay trim, improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your chances of developing lifestyle diseases like obesity, stroke or diabetes.
Did you, however, know that exercise can also help you stay sharp? The following are studies done by reputable organizations to show that working out is beneficial to your mental health.
1. A study done by the Exercise Science Department at the Georgia State University proves that Exercising is good for your brain.
If you work out for about 20 minutes every day, you will help increase your heart rate, thereby pumping more oxygen to your brain. More oxygen in your brain will trigger better brain performance.
2. According to a paper by Maren Schmidt-Kassow, Nadine Zink, Julia Mock, Christian Thiel, Lutz Vogt, Cornelius Abel, and Jochen Kaiser, even moderate exercise like walking on a treadmill can help improve your cognitive function.
3. Dr. Scott McGinnis, a neurology instructor at Harvard University, claims that regular exercise can increase the volume of temporal cortex prefrontal cortex.
4. A joint research venture by the Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, and the Rice University found exercise can boost brain performance.
After observing previously sedentary older citizens between 55 to 80 years start to perform regular exercise, it was clear that they were able to reverse brain loss that comes with age.
How does exercise work to boost brain functions?
Exercise stimulates growth factors release. Growth factors help in renewal and growth of new blood vessels and cells in your brain.
Exercise also brightens your mood, reduces stress and anxiety, and makes you sleep better. Stress and anxiety and lack of sleep are some of the contributing factors to foggy memory.
What kinds of Exercise can help you get a healthy brain?
Get off your couch and put on your walking shoes to help improve your memory loss. An hour of brisk walk two or three times a week provides the recommended physical activity that can boost your memory.
If one hour is too long, you can try 30 minutes walks twice a day or 30 minutes each day of the week.
Running makes you breathe fast and sweat, which in turn channels the required oxygen to your brain. Just like walking, start by running for about 30 minutes, then increase to an hour when your body starts getting used to it.
Skipping is not only a childhood game. When done regularly, jumping rope can help you burn calories, help you have clarity of thinking and also increase your agility. The activity requires coordination as you skip continuously, which stimulates thinking.
Did you think that swimming is only for Olympics champions? Well, you were wrong on that one. Swimming can help you boost your memory by increasing blood flow to the brain feeding brain cells and helping new ones grow. As you swim, neurotropics to the brain, thereby elevating your moods.
Games that involve running
Games such as tennis, basketball, football, etc. involve a lot of running, and are an excellent way to get your heart pumping.
Aerobics make your heart pump faster and helping repair damaged brain cells. You can either enroll in a gym or invest in a home aerobics machine. The beauty of having a home aerobics machine is that you don't have to pay a gym membership, which is costly in the long-run.
An aerobics machine that you can use at home or office also lets you exercise at a time that is convenient for you. Going to the gym ensures that you follow a strict procedure that is suitable for the gym owner.
If you prefer doing your aerobics early in the in the morning, it's a hassle to drive all the way to the gym then back home for a change of clothes before you head to the office.
Yoga combines meditation, breathing techniques and poses that help you relax and sharpen your ability to focus. Yoga poses alleviate depression, improve concentration and rewire your brain to remember things more clearly.
When choosing an exercise routine for the brain, look for anything that makes you break a sweat. Any activity that makes you sweat means that your body is getting rid of toxins, and supplying your organs with freshly oxygenated blood.
Before you start your routine, ensure that you are wearing comfortable clothes and shoes. Uncomfortable clothing can cause discomfort and frustrations, raising your stress and anxiety, both enemies of a healthy brain.
If your attire is not comfy, you might end up having an unpleasant experience, a thing that makes most people dread exercise.
You can also exercise at your convenience, and you don't have to follow a gym schedule. Most people prefer to exercise early in the morning, and it's a hustle traveling all the way to the gym, go back home, change your clothes then head back to work.
Physical activity is an easy way to boost your memory performance. If you don't have the discipline to ensure that you always exercise, draw up a schedule and allocate time for exercise according to the time slots that you're free. It might not be easy at first, but with time, you will come to love the rewards.