How Does Regular Exercise Improve Memory & Other Brain Functions?
Exercising on a daily basis helps prevent heart disease, strokes, diabetes mellitus and even cancer, it also promotes weight loss, regulates blood pressure, improves mental health and helps clear age-related brain fog, it strengthens your memory and thinking capabilities and more…
Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that when you do regular aerobic exercises, certain areas in the brain including the hippocampus, verbal memory area, and learning area, increase in size. This study was done as an effort to figure out solutions for dementia.
The Effects of Exercise on the Brain:
Exercise increases the memory and thinking capabilities either directly or indirectly.
The direct ways include:
- Decreasing Insulin Resistance.
- Decreasing Inflammation.
- Increasing the Release of Growth Factors Chemicals. (These chemicals protect the health of the brain cells and enhance the growth of new blood vessels in the brain.)
The indirect ways include:
- Improvement of mood and quality of sleep as well as reduction of stress and anxiety levels.
- Prevention of cognitive impairment.
Studies show that the brain areas responsible for memory and thinking (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex) are larger in size in people who exercise on regular basis.
Another study found that regular exercises of moderate intensity for 6 months or more increase the size of many brain areas.
Start Exercising Now:
Studies show that walking and doing aerobic workouts are the best forms of exercise to pump your heart.
Now the question is how much should you exercise to improve your memory?
Studies show that walking for an hour, twice a week is considered a moderate intensity exercise. Also, it is recommended to do moderate physical activity for 4 or 5 days per week. Your goal should be to reach half an hour of moderate physical activity a day.
If you don’t like walking, there are many other forms of moderate-intensity exercises such as playing tennis, swimming, or squash.
Notice that household activities such as floor mopping are considered moderate-intensity exercises too.
In general, anything that makes your heart pump and your glands release sweat is considered a moderate-intensity exercise.
• The Conclusion:
None can deny the importance of exercise to the overall health of the body including our brains’ health.
Science had proven once and again that physically active people have lower rates of normal declines in the functions of the brain that happen with age; that is why the sooner you give your activity levels a bump the healthier you become both physically and mentally!