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8 Ways Exercise Boosts Your Brain

Written by Courteney

Posted on August 23, 2016 at 3:58 am


We all know exercise is essential for a healthy body, but did you know how good exercise is for the brain specifically? Turns out, pretty awesome! Here are 9 research-backed benefits of exercise for the brain:

  1. Improves Brain Plasticity

Research suggests that even as brief as a 30-minute burst of exercise can improve brain plasticity, which helps with many things such as coordination of motor skills.

  1. Reduces Risk of Stroke

Cardio helps reduce your risk of having a stroke (also known as ‘brain attack’) by lowering blood pressure, helping you lose weight, reducing your stress and strengthening blood vessels.

  1. May Help Combat Alzheimer’s Disease

Exercise appears to have a hand in preventing or slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by improving memory and overall cognitive function, as well as helping combat or slow brain connection impairments associated with aging.

  1. Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Pain

During exercise, the brain releases natural analgesics like oxytocin and ‘feel good’ chemicals called endorphins. Neurotransmitter serotonin also has a large part to play in how exercise reduces stress, as its mood-boosting quality counters the effects of stress hormones like cortisol. Since pain signals are sent from the brain, natural pain-killing chemicals help redirect or block unpleasant pain sensations (sometimes only during exercise and for a short time after).

  1. Helps With Brain Cell Protection and Growth

According to Harvard Medical School, exercise stimulates the production of growth factors, which help new blood vessels grow in the brain as well as protecting new brain cells so they thrive and survive.

  1. Improves mood

Exercise improves mood the same way it helps control stress and anxiety, by producing mood-boosting endorphins, neurotransmitters and hormones like serotonin and dopamine which do exactly that – they boost your mood! Both routine exercise and diet play a key role in helping ease symptoms of mild depression.

  1. Clears The Mind

Exercise melts away the worries and events of the day by keeping you focused on the task at hand. This can serve as almost a type of meditation by emptying your head of clattering daily thoughts, giving your brain a rest as your body works up a lather.

  1. Improves Day-to-Day Brain Functioning

Routine exercise can help lift brain fog and help improve focus and motivation, which in turn can help sharpen interpersonal skills, job performance and increased creativity.

So, it turns out your brain needs routine exercise just as much as the rest of you does! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll return again soon!

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