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BRAIN EXERCISE: A Regular Fitness routine can improve Mental Health.

Updated: Mar 24, 2022

We all know that physical activity is one of the best ways to improve overall health, so we put in the miles on the trails and the reps in the gym. We work diligently to accomplish our fitness goals, knowing that with every early morning run or late-night #gym session, we are decreasing our chances of developing heart disease and diabetes.


Whatever your reasons are for staying active, consider adding one more; a healthy brain.


Research has shown that sticking to a regular fitness routine can improve your cognitive functioning and overall mental health.


The extra blood that is pumped to the brain during exercise delivers extra #oxygen and nutrients to help it achieve maximum performance and efficiency.


Here are just a few ways your brain benefits from exercise:

  • Enhanced memory - Research has shown that the size of the #hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory, actually increases with regular exercise.

  • Increase productivity - Not only does exercise increase energy levels, but it signals the brain to release hormones like #dopamine and #norepinephrine, which contribute to an improved attention span, ability to focus on complex tasks, and #motivation.

  • Improved mental health - People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety due to decreased production of stress hormones and the release of more #endorphins.

  • Reduced risk of brain injury - Regular exercise can improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falling, the leading cause of traumatic brain injury in the United States.

Participating in moderate exercise just a few days per week can improve brain function now and prevent cognitive decline as we age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends aiming for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic and strength training activities, 3 to 5 days per week for most adults.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melani Smith is the communications coordinator at Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation.

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