5 reasons why exercising is good for your brain. Exercise is considered to be a healthy activity for our body: it keeps us active, makes our muscles stronger, and keeps our joints flexible.
We also have plenty of evidence that physical exercise contributes to maintaining cardiovascular health and decreasing the risk of metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
But perhaps we think little of other parts of the body, which are favorably influenced by physical activity: for example, our brains can benefit in many ways when we exercise.
Although the brain is one of the largest organs in the human body, it contributes only 3% of our total body weight.
However, it is one of the most demanding organs in the body: it consumes about 20% of the total energy and needs a good blood supply.
Of the body’s total circulation, the brain receives 15%: because its functioning requires a constant supply of oxygen and glucose.
So a good blood circulation will favor the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Constant physical exercise contributes to better circulation throughout the body, including the brain, which not only makes it work better but can even develop new neurons.
Exercise helps your memory
We might think that this also has something to do with the fact that with exercise our brain stays oxygenated.
And while that is certainly an advantage for any function of the nervous system, we also have evidence that exercise prevents our brains from shrinking in size.
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Reduced brain volume is known to be related to cognitive decline, especially memory, which is more marked as we age.
However, there is evidence that older adults who exercise consistently can even increase their brain volume.
Helps you concentrate
The above tells us that physical exercise contributes to the maintenance of the brain’s cognitive functions. This is also true for concentration.
Some studies indicate that alternating short exercise sessions with tasks that require concentration, such as reading or studying, means that attention spans can be maintained for much longer.
Inflammation is a reaction of the body, specifically the immune system, which helps protect cells and tissues.
This reaction happens in certain circumstances such as illness, but we also know that with age inflammation can occur in different parts of our body, including the brain.
If these inflammatory processes become chronic, the tissues in which they occur stop functioning properly. In the case of the brain, this can favor neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
However, if we exercise we not only avoid inflammatory processes, but exercise can reverse the effects of neuroinflammatory processes.
Exercise improves mental health
You may have heard someone say that exercise helps them feel more relaxed or happier. Or maybe you’ve even experienced it in yourself.
One of the reasons is that when we exercise physically we produce certain neurotransmitters such as dopamine or serotonin: molecules linked to the brain’s reward systems that make us feel satisfied and happy.
It is for this reason that many mental health specialists recommend their patients to do some kind of physical activity.
There is even evidence that activities such as yoga can have an effect on the brain that helps reduce stress.
So, regardless of whether you have the physical performance of an Olympic athlete, exercise will always be good for your brain and your body.