If you could boost your brain power in one simple step, you’d do it right? Well there is a way you can keep your brain on full charge, while keeping your body in shape as well.
It’s Brain Awareness Week, and we’re here to tell you how much your grey matter can benefit from some good old fashioned exercise.
Did you know that by exercising moderately for 20 minutes, your information processing and memory function is given a real boost? At its simplest level, just by exercising you are increasing the heart rate, and in turn the amount of oxygen that is carried to your brain.
Working out also stimulates new connections between cells in the brain. The antidepressant qualities of exercise have been proven with more cell growth being stimulated in an area of the brain called the hippocampus, responsible for learning and memory.
Damaged cells can repair themselves in the brain with exercise, and the philosophy is that if it’s good for your heart then it’s good for your brain.
It has been said that by exercising in the morning before work, your brain activity is spiked and allows for better retention of information and better reactions to complex situations, so you’ll be well prepared for that board meeting or presentation if you’ve spent 30 minutes on the treadmill beforehand. Exercise can also reduce stress, enhance your mood, and make you feel better as a whole.
So really, if you want to improve memory, mood, learning and responsiveness, there is an answer staring you in the face – either join a gym, where you’ll be encouraged to visit regularly, or grab your trainers and head out for a brisk walk or jog around the block.
Think about it. It’s a no-brainer!
I find that exercise can definitely produce inspiration. 'parking' a problem in a workout and diverting the mind quite often produces a sudden cry of 'aha!' half-way through. Can look a bit silly though..
I think we feel much happier after exercise as well. It gives you a feel good factor that is hard to find anywhere else.
It'sgood to see science backing up what I feel intuitively from my personal experience: I'm just much sharper after a workout. If I neglect exercise even just for a few days, I definitely feel it in terms of more sluggish thought processes.
It's good to see the mind/body connection being made explicit. Exercise is about so much more than just looking after your body!
Wow - this really inspires me to exercise. It's easy to forget that all that extra oxygen will go to the brain as well as the heart. My granddad has dementia and I want to do everything I can do avoid it. Thanks!
I try and tell everyone at work they're missing out by not joining me at the gym at lunch time - at least I know who'll have the healthier brain!
Exercise also helps guard against dementia, apparently. healthy body, healthy mind