The 1980s saw the rise of the fitness craze in Western culture. Whether it was Jane Fonda’s 1982 Workout Series or Richard Simmons 1988, “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” – exercise was everywhere and the topic of many conversations! While it’s true, society has known for a long time that exercise and physical activity are beneficial for the body, recent research is showing us that exercise is not only beneficial to our physique but also to our brain health! Here are 3 ways that exercise can improve your brain health:
1. Exercise improves your memory development!
Exercise can improve all areas of cognitive function, including thinking, learning, and memory, especially with age. Researchers have known that in children, exercise is important for memory development, but they are also finding that daily exercise becomes more vital the older an individual gets. Physical activity increases blood flow to the anterior cingulate cortex (located in the middle of the brain), which is activated when we are thinking. Researchers have found that exercise helps our anterior cingulate cortex better form memories and improve the neurochemical communication between these memories, leading to deep understanding. Additionally, it has been shown that people who exercise can improve their memory performance and experience greater brain blood flow to the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the brain region that deals with converting short-term memories to long-term memories. By taking care of your hippocampus, you are lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Exercise decreases cell death in the brain!
Exercise can change the epigenetic pattern of genes that determine how our body stores fat in the body. The more that we engage in physical activity – the more our bodies get used to using and storing fat properly! In fact, when we exercise epigenetic changes occur in 7,000 of the body’s 20-25,000 genes, increasing the production of fat-burning proteins.
3. Exercise helps your body store fat properly!
Aerobic exercise such as power walking and cardio leads to improved and flexible cognitive functions and has been shown to decrease cell death. A lifestyle of little or no physical exercise and a diet of high-processed, sugary foods leads to increased cell death and toxins in the brain and body, accelerating the aging process. You can look younger longer and improve your cognitive function by exercising and consuming a healthy, non-processed diet.
Time to get up and move!
Now that you know the 3 ways that exercise benefits your brain health – find an exercise routine that you can incorporate into your daily life. Whether it’s taking walk around the office space during your lunch break or going for a jog in the park after work – make exercise a fun and de-compressing activity! Your waistline and your brain will thank you for it!
If you experience joint pain while exercising, consider using a nutritional supplement such as Triple Flex, a supplement that combines the power of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM to improve joint health and function.