When it comes to leading a healthy life and staying fit, people often forget about one important subject – the brain. What a lot of people don’t know is that physical exercise has an impact on the brain and can significantly improve cognitive functions.
This ubiquitous knowledge is slowly changing due to advances in technology like artificial intelligence-powered software, which can calculate how long it takes for your body to react to different types of movement and simulate them individually.
The Importance of Physical Activity – Fitness for Your Brain
The health and well-being of your brain is hugely important. Your brain cells, or neurons, are like firewood; they need to be burning steadily in order to function at their best. That’s why maintaining good physical health is so crucial for your cognitive health. Here are five reasons why exercise is so important for your brain:
1) Exercise builds new brain cells. New research has found that regular exercise can help build new brain cells in the hippocampus – a part of the brain responsible for memory formation and navigation. Not only that, but it can also protect existing neurons from damage.
2) Exercise reduces anxiety and stress. According to a study by the University of South Wales, exercise can reduce stress levels and anxiety symptoms by increasing levels of “feel good” hormones like serotonin and oxytocin in the brain. These hormones play an extremely important role in regulating sleep, appetite, stress response and mood.
3) Exercise boosts cognitive performance. A study published in the journal Neurology found that aerobic exercise (like running or cycling) can increase intelligence quotient (IQ) scores by up to 3 points in older adults. In addition, regular physical activity has been linked to lower risk of cognitive impairment. As a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, exercise also prevents neurotoxic damage, which is the process that ultimately leads to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
4) Exercise helps keep your heart and brain healthy. If you suffer from muscle pain or joint pains, the best way to heal is by exercising your muscle group (not repetitive strain injury). Muscle pain can be very disabling; it reduces strength in muscle groups that can be easily strengthened with exercises like swimming and stretching. There are also symptoms like back pain that might restrict physical activities but not necessarily an immediate injury such as joint pain or muscle spasms. Conversely, poor circulation in your legs can be reached through non-invasive cardio exercise such as swimming for fitness/fortification.
Fitness and Mental Health: How the Science Works to Our Benefit
The connection between a strong mind and body is one that has been drilled into our collective consciousness for centuries. From Ancient Greece and Rome to modern day Japan, people have understood the importance of keeping their bodies healthy and fit in order to maintain their mental faculties.
Recent studies have only bolstered this understanding. In fact, scientists have pinned fitness directly to improved mental health outcomes, including reducing anxiety and depression symptoms and improving cognitive function.
Here’s how the science works: Mental health problems are typically characterized by lower levels of physical activity and engagement with the world around them.
Although it can be challenging for some people to get physical activity up to par, it is even harder for those who suffer from anxiety or depression.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to improve your mental health without having to go to the gym or participate in any vigorous sports activities.
One way you can do this is by exercising your brain. Increasing cognitive function has been linked with better mental health outcomes in general, but it seems that certain types of exercise are especially beneficial.
For example, research has shown that aerobic exercise is particularly helpful in reducing anxiety and depression symptoms because it increases mood stability, boosts serotonin levels, and improves social connectivity.
Conclusion about Fitness
It’s no secret that a healthy diet and regular exercise are integral to maintaining a healthy body and mind, but what about fitness during pregnancy?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), weight gain during pregnancy is normal, but excessive weight gain (over 25 pounds) can lead to complications for both you and your baby. In addition, being physically active throughout your pregnancy will have numerous benefits for both you and your child- including improved mental health in childhood.
So whether you’re pregnant or not, it’s never too late to get started on a healthy lifestyle that will benefit both you and your unborn child!