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Mental Health Benefits of Regular Exercise

Health Benefits of Regular Exercise

From reducing the risks of neurodegenerative disease to strengthening your memory, exercise is great for your mental health in a number of ways. Regular physical activity helps keep your key mental skills sharp as you age. This includes critical thinking, learning, and using good judgment.

Exercise improves memory by creating new brain cells in the hippocampus. It is brain area responsible for learning and memory. Exercise improves executive functions, which are higher level thinking skills. It also increases cognitive flexibility, which involves task switching and multitasking.

Mental Health Benefits of Regular Exercise

Exercise can help increase concentration on the task. Physical activity increases heart rate, which results in increased blood flow to the brain. More blood flow means the brain is receiving more oxygen and nutrients to operate.

Exercise elevates the levels of a brain chemical called BDNF in humans. BDNF helps repair and protect brain cells from degeneration. Exercise reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Our brains begin to lose neurons at about age 30. This can affect cognitive abilities, memory, and even start the onset of dementia.

A study showed that moderate exercise can help gain 1-2% of brain volume. Exercise increases the production of glial cells, which are the brains support network. These cells have protective effects and support the function of neurons.

Exercise promotes brain plasticity

Exercise promotes brain plasticity by forming new connections between brain cells. This results in efficient transmission of data, which helps you think faster. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, the feel good chemicals in the brain. It helps fight depression and anxiety, which can improve brain health.

Exercise is the best way to manage or beat stress. It also reduces the level of stress related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. It reorganizes the brain structure to react differently and better to a stressful situation. A study showed that people who are physically active had a well being score of 32% higher than inactive individuals.

A good workout stabilizes your blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity. Better blood sugar control protects you against age related cognitive decline.