Exercise doesn’t just help you remain physically fit; it can also improve your brain health. It has been known since years that benefits of exercise go beyond physical health. Exercise changes your brain in ways that safeguard memory, protect thinking skills, and keep the brain fog that comes with age at bay. A University of British Columbia study has shown that aerobic exercise seems to boost the area of the brain involved in learning and verbal memory.
How exercise boosts brain health?
Exercise helps thinking and memory both directly and indirectly. Exercise may reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, and boost the release of growth factors, which are chemicals in the brain which impact the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, health of brain cells, and even the survival of new brain cells. As far as indirect means go, exercise reduces anxiety and stress and improves sleep and mood. Issues in these areas have been linked to cognitive impairment.
Some studies have also shown that the areas of the brain responsible for memory and thinking, the medial temporal cortex and prefrontal cortex, have greater volume in individuals who exercise daily as compared to those who don’t. In fact, exercising regularly may also cause an increase in the volume of some brain regions.
Here are some activities and exercise that can improve brain health as well as physical health:
1- Aerobic Exercises:
Aerobic exercise may improve brain function by repairing damaged brain cells. Aerobics affects the nervous system and causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals such as dopamine. This makes people calmer and may even help improve symptoms of depression in some people. When done in moderation, it can also reduce anxiety.
2- Yoga and Meditation:
Yoga is great for stretching and improving flexibility, and it becomes even more powerful when combined with meditation practices, helping you achieve focus. Meditation is also a stress buster and helps your brain function better. Moreover, it may also extend your life by slowing down cellular aging.
If you are someone with a lot of energy but you find it hard to concentrate on things, running or jogging in the morning can be really helpful. When you run, your brain secretes serotonin, a mood enhancing hormone.
This seemingly simple activity can greatly improve brain power. Going for walks regularly can improve the communication between the different areas of the brain as neural connectivity is enhanced. This will help you get better at planning, strategizing, and multi-tasking.
5- Tai Chi:
Consisting of slow, rhythmic movements, this Chinese martial art can help improve cognitive functioning. It is also great for people who have a sedentary lifestyle as it is low impact and easy on the joints.
Apart from exercising, make sure you ditch the habits that may age your brain faster and eat foods that feed your brain. Consult a doctor if you have been experiencing memory difficulties and changes in thinking skills. You can find and book an appointment with top nutritionists in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.