What does exercise do to your brain?

There are many reasons to exercise. There are many reasons to exercise. You may want to lose weight, get in shape, increase your mental health, or just be able talk while you run. Exercise can have great effects on your body. But what about your brain?
Running over marathons may be a good way to keep your health in check. However, scientists have found that exercise can improve your gray matter. Exercise can help you build new brain cells and can improve your mood. This can have positive effects on both your mental and physical health. Here's what happens to your brain while you exercise and how you can benefit from it.

What happens to your brain after you exercise?

According to a Trends in Neuroscience journal study, exercise can help maintain brain function. Research shows that a session on the treadmill or track can increase the brain molecules that help learning and protect from cognitive decline. Dr. Delice Coffey, a psychologist and mental coach, says that exercise helps new brain cells grow. It stimulates the formation of new connections between cells and cortical areas in the brain, which aids in brain plasticity.

These molecules are known as a brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and occur in the hippocampus. This is the area responsible for learning and memory formation. BDNF, a super-charged protein, helps maintain brain circuitry. Low levels of BDNF can lead to depression, Alzheimers, and dementia.

According to a study published in the National Academy of Sciences journal, the reason people may experience dementia or impaired memory as they age is that the hippocampus naturally shrinks with age. A University of British Columbia study found that heart-pumping exercises increase the size of the hippocampus. However, you need to be ready to sweat it out because balance and resistance training don't have the same effect.

Your brain also gets fuel from exercise. Exercise is vital for our survival. It helps to get oxygen to our brains. Dr. Coffey said that exercise pumps vital oxygen to the brain by increasing heart rate.

You can make your running more efficient by swapping the couch for a 5km run. Exercise speeds up the heart's beat by pumping more blood per beat. Dr. Coffey said that a faster heartbeat during exercise means more blood is flowing through the body. Healthy cardio output maintains blood pressure at the right level to deliver oxygen-rich blood to your brain, and other vital organs.

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Which exercise is the best for your brain?

You need to work out if you want to increase gray matter. Aerobic-style exercises are the best for brain health, according to Dr Coffey. Coffey stated that studies show swimming and running are the best exercises for brain health. However, weightlifting can increase heart rate which could also be beneficial for brain health.

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Can exercise improve your mood?

Exercise has been shown to decrease anxiety and depression, regardless of whether you reach the so-called 'runners high'. A study in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology found that the antidepressant effect of running is due to more cell growth in the hippocampus.

It is interesting that if you exercise in a group, a study published in the Journal of Adaptive Human Behaviour and Psychology showed that the brain releases natural pain relieving Endogenous Opioid System. This helps to encourage social closeness. An example of this is a rowing crew that finds the strength and perseverance to win a race.

Exercise not only increases your heart rate, helps you sleep better, and reduces stress but also makes your diet healthier. In 2019, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who exercise more often tend to eat healthier food choices. A study of 2,680 adults who were sedentary found that those who began exercising were more likely than others to choose healthy foods like fruit and vegetables, as well as less likely to eat fried foods, soda, or snack foods.

It doesn't matter if you love the idea of running, or not. A heart-pumping workout is smart. We have a guide on how to get fit if you don't know where to begin.