New research has emerged proving a link between brain health and physical exercise. Many say the brain is a muscle that if not continually challenged it will begin to atrophy. So how does one keep their brain healthy through exercise? Through the release of hormones in the body during physical activity your brain is able to remain healthy.
Much like the brain, the heart muscle needs cardio workouts to keep it strong and healthy. During, cardiovascular exercise, the body delivers memory boosting hormones to a part of the brain known as the hippocampus. The hippocampus is at the center of the brain’s memory system. This is why it is said that exercise can increase cognitive ability and help one stay focused.
Another attribute to physical exercise on the brain’s hormone system is through endocannabinoids. Endorphins are the pleasure hormones the body creates during physical activity. Through the endocannabinoid system, endorphins help the body to reduce stress and even have a pain-killing effect. Mood-boosting qualities are not all that exercise can help to improve the health of the brain. Many artists believe that the ability to be more creative lies within even the simplest forms of exercise like walking.
The Flight or Fight Response
Much like the memory-boosting hormones secreted during exercise another type of hormone that helps the brain is adrenaline. When the body goes into the flight or fight response mode the body sends out adrenaline to help the brain process what the body is about to do.
This hormone can also help cognitive ability and can help one stay focused on a specific task. After the adrenaline rush, the body then sends out serotonin. This hormone helps the body relax and feel comfortable. Both of the hormones play an integral part in keeping the brain healthy.
Keeping a daily workout routine can also help fight cognitive decline. As we age our brain is sometimes subject to memory issues and an inability to remain focused. Patients with dementia who were able to exercise more often saw better results than patients who were more sedentary when it came to overall cognitive ability.
Age is not something that we can outrun. However, with proper physical activity done on a regular basis, the brain can retain many abilities that were easy to accomplish at a younger age. These include things like balance, coordination, and of course memory. Exercise also stimulates new cell growth within the brain. Even as we age staying active can ensure optimal brain health.
No matter what sort of workout you do, one thing is certain, it will benefit your brain. Living a sedentary life has risks not only on your physical health but also your mental health. Anyone can help boost their brain’s ability by taking the time to get active. Cardio has shown to be the most beneficial but even a simple walk in the park can help keep your brain healthy.