Strong mind, strong body

If there is any drop in motivation for exercise now that the sun has gone in and the temperature has dropped, read this and do something to raise your heart rate for just 30 minutes.

We have all heard about the positive effects of exercise on the body, but have you ever considered the effect exercise has on the brain? With so much concern in this current climate for the elderly and vulnerable, perhaps it is time to think how we can protect our brains or at the very least delay the onset of incurable age-related diseases such as dementia.

Just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-4 times each week can have the positive effects required to achieve these benefits. In addition to these long-term effects, there are plenty of immediate benefits.

Have you ever gone out for a run or a walk in a bit of a mood to clear your head? Very often, by the time you are back home, all is right with the world. Exercise is known to improve mood, energy levels, memory and attention due to the release of endorphins.

According to Wendy Suzuki – a professor of Neuro-Science at New York University;

“Exercise is the most transformative thing you can do for your brain today”.

Within the brain, there are a number of different sections, including:

  • The prefrontal cortex – This is behind the forehead and is used for decision making, focus and personality.
  • The temporal lobes – right and left, which include the hippocampus – used for long term memory.

Immediate effects on the brain of physical activity include an increased level of neurotransmitters such as dopomine, serotonin and noradrenaline which all contribute to improved mood. Longer term, exercise actually produces new brain cells in the hippocampus making it bigger and stronger. With a bigger and stronger brain it can ward off the declining effects of Dementia and Alzheimers. This can have a positive change on the trajectory of your life.

Now that we have longer daylight hours and probably less to do due to self-isolation, why not ensure that you are physically active for your body and brain.

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