Exercise and Your Brain

We all know that exercise is good for your body. It makes your heart and lungs work better and that increasing your heart rate, which pumps up your cardio-vascular system and gets the oxygen and blood flowing to all areas of your body, including your brain. Like any muscle, it works to capacity when challenged with exercise, or grows lazy and even withers with lack of exertion.

Exercise is also a great stress reliever. Stress is a killer for your brain and makes it more difficult for your memory and comprehension skills to kick in. Studies are now showing that exercise reduces stress and anxiety disorders and may prevent or delay dementia. This is great news for Baby Boomers who are aging and worried about losing their ability to remember as they get older.

When you exercise endorphins are released that can expand your senses, and increases your ability to retain and memorize. If you exercise in the morning you will have a “runner’s high” that allows you to stay “up” all day. Evening exercise is just as beneficial and allows you to relax and sleep better.

Doctors have seen the benefits of exercise to improve memory and reduce memory loss that is a normal part of aging. They believe exercise is the beginning of the search for the answer to: “why do people forget things.” Studies indicate that exercises will cut down the effects of aging on the brain, reducing normal age-related decline in cognitive functioning such as planning, organization and memorization.

Physical activity is a catalyst to increasing and maintaining proper mental processes. So, it can be said that exercise and some lifestyle changes may improve memorizing and cognitive functioning. A healthy brain food diet, consisting of foods rich in omega-3 fats, antioxidants and low glycemic carbohydrates (such as whole grains) work wonders for memory function. If you include daily walks, relaxation exercises and brain games like crossword puzzles you will see positive results in increased brain function.

In addition, stop smoking, reducing your blood pressure, weight and cholesterol is also important for brain health. Increased memory function can be maintained throughout a person’s life by simply living life to the fullest and by continually learning new things.

Even though depression, stress and other mental illnesses can bring down your overall health, exercise has been determined to show improvement in all areas of brain function.   For older people brain games and mental stimulation are important in preventing age related mental declining. As a matter of fact, regular light exercises for the elderly such as a brisk walk, swimming, and other light aerobic exercises will not only help stop the decline of mental performance, but will increase stamina and endurance as well as reverse the decline.

So get up, stay busy, and learn something new always for good mental fitness.

This article was shared by two time USA Memory Champion and memory speaker Ron White.

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