Research shows that keeping the brain active can help it perform better. Exercising the brain can increase its vitality and could even encourage the production of new brain cells. These exercises can be as simple as introducing new things to your brain, such as trying new activities, building vocabulary, playing puzzles, learning new skills, and other similar movements. But did you know that exercising your physical body can positively affect your brain health?
Here Is What Happens to Your Brain When You Exercise
When a person exercises, two things usually happen to their bodies. First, the blood flow increases. Second, their mood improves, thanks to the happy hormones they get. People already know this too well. What they do not know is how the brain reacts when they begin to exercise the body.
Here are some key points to remember:
- The brain is a flexible organ. It can be reshaped and resized, depending on the stimulation that it gets.
- Usually, that reshaping and resizing occurs when there is neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. Neurogenesis refers to the creation of new nerve cells or neurons, and neuroplasticity is the continuous growth and improvement of neural networks.
Since the brain is already experiencing changes independently, scientists realize that these activities get triggered when people exercise. These are the kinds of changes that the brain undergoes:
- Molecular and cellular changes: According to a study, exercising helps the cells in the body become stronger and healthier. It works by renewing the cellular powerhouse, mitochondria, crucial to the body’s overall functionality. When a muscle is healthy, it affects the health of the overall body.
- Neurotransmitters: Exercising releases all the neurotransmitters or the body’s chemical messenger faster. That includes serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine—hormones that improve people’s mood, enhance learning, and helps people focus.
- Functional and structural changes: When a person exercises, handling problems and emotions become more manageable. That is because exercising increases the grey matter volume in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Furthermore, exercising also delivers oxygen and nutrients to the different areas of the body, allowing them to function better.
- Socio-emotional changes: Exercising promotes positive chemicals in the brain that help improve one’s mood and sense of relaxation. That could affect people’s sleep and mood while also highlighting people’s cognitive abilities, such as sustaining attention span, maintaining decision-making skills, and enhancing memory.
Best Types of Exercise to Improve Brain’s Health
Here is how the following exercises can help your brain in different ways:
- HIIT: Gives off better health benefit due to speed and intensity
- Aerobic exercise: When your exercise raises your heart rate well, it could encourage the production of more neurochemicals
- Resistance training: Functionality of the brain improves when through the repetitive movements
- Freestyle exercise: Performing freestyle activities like hip hop dancing or skating requires creative thought, enhancing development
While any exercise can affect the brain in one way or another, the best one is always the one you enjoy doing.
The brain performs cognitive functions that help the person sustain attention, recognize patterns, keep memories, and more. This functionality does not stop, but they become limited as the person grows old. That is how the body preserves this capability. While exercising would not make your brain more intelligent, it could encourage better health because the more you use the brain, the better it can get.
Make sure to have a decent amount of exercise every day, no matter how busy you can get. Kalev Fitness Solution can provide you with Vancouver personal trainers to create an exercise program that fits your needs and lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you improve your health.