You’re reminded on a daily basis just how good exercise is for you. When you flip through a magazine or watch television, you see just how exercise can provide you with a slim and trim body. The thing you may not have known is that exercise is doing a lot of work behind the scenes as well. Exercise has been shown in a variety of studies to be one of the best ways to keep your brain young and healthy. Let’s take a look at the 4 ways exercise can protect your brain.
4. Conquer Age-related Disease
Alzheimer’s and Dementia are the two most notorious age-related conditions that impact your cognitive ability. The symptoms are cruel as you lose all ability to reason and be independent. While the medical community is making progress with medication, there’s something you can do right now to prevent these diseases: exercise. Studies show that you can start exercising at ANY age to combat these diseases. It’s never too late to start.
Stress is unavoidable. We all have hectic days where our blood pressure skyrockets and we are left feeling angry and frustrated. Constant stress hurts your brain because the hormone that is being released is catabolic. That means it emphasizes the breakdown of tissue and cells.
The way to lessen stress and improve your mood is through exercise. Studies show that when you exercise, you release feel good chemicals known as endorphins. You’re also flushing out the damage done by catabolic hormones while you were stressed.
Depression is one of the most common ailments in the United States. From constant stress at work to seasonal changes, many people suffer from various degrees of depression. Medication is risky and comes with potential side effects. Exercise is all natural and it’s been shown to be extremely effective at combating depression. As mentioned above, when you exercise, your body is being flooded by endorphins. What’s more, you’ll be improving your own body image as you work to achieve that ideal body. Those who exercise reported having higher self-esteem and confidence.
The most important benefit of exercise when it comes to your brain has everything to do with protecting it from degeneration. Despite what many people think, your brain does NOT have to be a victim to age. Studies have shown that there are powerful ways to improve the health of your brain. In fact, a “brain age” system was developed to determine the health of your brain. The more you do for your mind, the younger it becomes.
Aside from healthy eating, stimulating puzzles, and learning a new trade, one of the best ways to protect your brain and keep it young is exercise. Physical activity has been proven to promote neuron growth and prevent neuron death. That means your brain keeps producing healthy neurons, which are connected to mind-to-body communication, reasoning, speed of processing, and many other things. To have your brain feel young, you will want many healthy neurons buzzing about.
Be sure to keep yourself and your mind feeling as young as you can by exercising.
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Candice L. Hogan, Jutta Mata, and Laura L. Carstensen. Exercise Holds Immediate Benefits for Affect and Cognition in Younger and Older Adults. Psychol Aging. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013 Sep 10.