Improving Memory and Thinking Skills Through Exercise

Aside from maintaining your health and physical shape, there are lots of other reasons to exercise and be physically active. Exercise proposes a series of health benefits. It can reduce the chances of developing stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. It can help you lose weight, prevent depression, lower blood pressure, and surprisingly it also improves memory.

If you are experiencing the brain fog that comes with aging, working out can help you avoid the development of dementia in its early years. Researchers have found that one new case of dementia is detected globally for every four seconds. By the year 2050, researchers estimate more than 115 million people worldwide will have dementia.

Exercise can cause changes in the brain that protect the memory and thinking skills. According to a study at the University of British Columbia, the researchers have found that regular workout or aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of your hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that is involved in memory and learning. But only the kind of workout that gets your sweat glands and heart pumping. Balance, muscle toning and resistance training types of exercises, however, did not have the same results.

Working out helps thinking and memory through both indirect and direct ways. Direct benefits of exercise help reduce insulin resistance, stimulate growth factor release, and reduce inflammation. Growth factors are chemicals in the brain that affect the brain cells’ health. It also affects the growth of new blood cells and affects as well the abundance and survival of new brain cells. Indirect benefits of exercise help improve sleep and mood, and it reduces anxiety and stress. If there are problems in these areas, it frequently causes or contributes to cognitive impairment.

Studies have suggested that the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex, the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory, have been found to have greater volume in those people who exercise compared to those who don’t.

There is no specific known fact about which workout routing is the best. Most of the research has looked into walking and other forms of aerobic exercises that can get your heart pumping. So if you are going to start exercising, research suggests that you walk briskly for one hour for twice a week. Take at least 120 minutes of moderate exercise per week to help sharpen thinking and memory. Standard recommendations advise only half an hour of moderate exercise or physical activity at most days of the week, or at least 150 minutes a week.

Depending on your daily routine and schedule, it would also vary. Most of us are busy working 9 to 5 jobs that we are too tired to even do a little bit of workout when we get home. You can start with a few minutes a day and then eventually increase the amount of exercise by five to 10 minutes every week. This way your body can adjust and so that you don’t have to feel completely tired the next day. Just take baby steps until you reach your goal.

Aside from walking, there are other moderate-intensity exercises that you can try. You can opt for either swimming, tennis, or dancing. If you work in an office most of the day you can try stair climbing. You can also count household activities such as intense floor mopping, gardening, raking leaves, or pretty much any chores that get your heart pumping while you are at home that makes you break a light sweat.

If you are the type who doesn’t have the discipline to exercise on your own, perhaps joining a class or working out with friends might help. Track your progress to help encourage yourself to reach your goal. You can also hire a personal trainer to help motivate you to work out. Experts can be more persuasive and greatly motivate you into moving and get the heart pumping.

It is important that you commit to make working out a habit. Whatever form of exercise you may choose, choose one that can motivate you to continue exercising for a long time. Consider exercise as a daily dose of healthy vitamins into your physique. Aside from laughter, exercise is also a great medicine for the body. Staying healthy physically and mentally gives you all the reason to work out.

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