If you aren’t moving and grooving every day, it’s time to start. Physical activity is super important as we age because it defends against heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, reducing the odds of all of them. When you keep your body physically active, it can help you lose weight or lower your blood pressure. It can even help with depression. But, for those of us who are in menopause and middle age, I recommend getting your body moving because it changes the brain, so it protects memory and thinking skills.
Researchers have found that when you exercise regularly and get your heartbeat up and your sweat glands going, it boosts the size of your hippocampus. This is the area of the brain that is involved in verbal memory and learning. But, if you are only working on weight training, resistance, and muscle toning the results to the brain were not the same.
Why is this important? Because a new case of dementia is diagnosed every four seconds all over the world and by the year 2050, more than 115 million people will suffer from some degree of dementia.
Why am I discussing it? As I get into the four quadrants with my videos, we are starting with mechanical, and this is a major function of the mechanical aspect of the body and how it can be improved naturally. Let’s look at why exercise does the brain good.
Exercise: It Does the Brain Good
Here are some of the brain benefits you will get from exercising.
Memory and Thinking. Exercise can reduce inflammation and stimulate growth factors, which in turn promote healthy brain cells and the growth of new brain cells, and the growth of new blood vessels.
Mood and Sleep. Exercise will improve your mood because of the endorphins that are released and help your sleep.
Stress and Anxiety. Exercise reduces stress and anxiety, which can contribute to an impairment in cognitive functioning.
Exercise for Your Brain
We have talked about brain health from the standpoint of training your brain; now it’s time to exercise for your brain! And, here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter what you choose to do, as long as it raises your heart rate and you sweat.
You might be wondering how much exercise do you need to help with your memory. Studies have shown that if you walk briskly twice a week for one hour, you will have an improvement in your cognitive function.
Good Physical Exercise for Your Brain
This is where you can get creative. For instance, climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator at work. Take a swim or play some tennis. Dance while you clean the house.
Other ideas might be to join a gym and take a class with a friend. Or start a walking group that meets at the park. Hire a trainer and track your progress.
It doesn’t matter what exercise or motivators you choose if you are committed to making exercise a habit. It’s the small changes that can lead to big shifts, so let’s start this change today!