Regular exercise boosts the power of your brain

Harold Mandel's picture
Enjoying a walk in nature

Researchers have found that memory and thinking skills are dramatically improved by regular exercise, including running and walking.

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The capacity of your brain to function well is not fixed. The power of your brain can be boosted with regular exercise.

We all know that it's important to stay in shape to keep your heart fit. An added benefit to keeping the heart fit is this also keeps your brain fit. The consistency of exercise is important for the health of your brain. Both running and walking have been shown to improve brain activity.

Changes in the brain from regular exercise improve memory and thinking skills

Changes in the brain from regular exercise improve memory and thinking skills reports Harvard Medical School. It has generally been well understood that being physically active decreases the chances of developing heart disease, diabetes , and stroke. Exercise can also help you control your blood pressure and prevent depression. Researchers say that exercise also alters the brain in ways which protect skills dealing with memory and thinking.

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A study at the University of British Columbia showed that regular aerobic exercise seems to boost the size of the hippocampus. This is the brain area which is involved in verbal memory and learning. Exercise also stimulates the release of growth factors, which are chemicals in the brain that have an affect on the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.

Exercise also benefits brain health indirectly

There are also indirect benefits for brain health from exercise. There is an improvement of mood and sleep with exercise. Exercise also decreases stress and anxiety. Cognitive impairment is often caused or contributed to by problems in these areas.

MedicalXpress reports that it's not only your heart muscles which benefit from walking. New Mexico Highlands University researchers have discovered that the impact of the foot during walking results in the sending of pressure waves through the arteries which significantly modify and can enhance the supply of blood to the brain. This effect is of course also seen with running.

The good feeling that comes with exercise clearly goes beyond a subjective sense of well being. Exercise helps to optimize brain perfusion, function, and an overall sense of wellbeing while also keeping your heart fit. Getting exercise on a regular basis is therefore a great way to keep your body and mind in shape.

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