With the holiday hustle and bustle, who has time to exercise? As our schedules fill up, caring for ourselves is often the first thing we let go, but this is the best time of year to keep up with a regular fitness schedule. The stress of the holidays can take it’s toll, leaving us mentally exhausted. But have you ever thought about your brain as your most prized muscle? Research shows that different activities can have profound effects on your mental health. Moving your body could sharpen your ideas and memory retention, directly benefitting your grey matter. And, different exercises can be linked directly to certain aspects of brain health.
Brain health :: Exercise to grow your brain and muscles
Aerobic exercise, a very engaged low to high-intensity workout, is strongly connected to the hippocampus – the part of the brain that’s the center of emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous system. Studies show that the more a person engages in physical movement, the more their brain structure grows.
Another study in young children has shown that recess can be beneficial to the overall mental growth of those who are still developing, not just those on the fringe. The study looked at kids in kindergarten through 5th grade and showed that when students participated in 8-20 minutes of physical activity such as running and playing, they showed a decrease in distractions and an increase in content retention. They were also more attentive to their class work in school.Start by keeping it simple
Simple exercises such as walking, running, biking, aerobics, and yoga can not only help retain your loose memories, but also help boost creativity, productivity, and even your overall brain health. By working these things into your everyday life, you are sure to be on the path to a healthier cognitive lifestyle – boosting your brain health.
Besides improving memory, thinking skills, and brain health, there are plenty of other great reasons for being physically active. Reducing the odds of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are some big reasons. Maybe you want to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, prevent depression, or just feel better.
Staying active and exercising regularly are two of the many important factors to staying (and feeling) young – both in your body and your brain health. If you’d like some assistance, we’re here to help you every step of the way. If you are experiencing pain when exercising, we can help with that, too. You can set up a free consultation with one of our fitness-focused physical therapists who can get you started on the path to wellness.