Did you know that exercise, as well as increasing fitness levels and decreasing body fat percentage, it can also help and improve the way your brain functions?
6 benefits of exercise for your brain
1. It spurs brain growth
2. It boosts brain-building hormones
3. It fights depression and anxiety
4. It reduces the effects of stress
5. It improves your brain’s executive function
6. It increases sensitivity to insulin
As we get older, the birth of new brain cells slows, and our brain tissue actually shrinks. Exercise may be able to reverse that trend. Much like plant food makes plants grow faster and lusher, the chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, stimulates the growth and proliferation of brain cells. The more you exercise, the more BDNF you produce.
Depression slows the brain’s ability to process information, makes it more difficult for us to concentrate and reach decisions, and causes real memory problems. Exercise may help lift your mood. It cranks up the body’s production of serotonin and dopamine, brain chemicals crucial to happy mood.
Slow, scattered thinking and forgetfulness are caused by stress more often than we may realize. Exercise lowers cortisol levels, helping you to think straight again. It is also believed to help generate new nerve cells in the area of the brain called the dentate gyrus, an area of the hippocampus linked to the creation of new memories.