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Get physical to improve your energy and mental health!
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do not only for your physical health, but your mental fitness too. As well as improving your moods, energy levels and sleep patterns, adding a fun exercise routine to your life can even help improve your learning and memory.
In fact, sustained patterns of exercise can promote the development of new connections in parts of the brain associated with learning and memory – this is a process known as neurogenesis.
Exercise on the brain: how movement helps your grey matter
Your brain is no different to the rest of your muscles in the body - you either use it or lose it. As exercise increases the heart rate, your body pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also encourages the body’s release of hormones that can lead to reduced pain sensitivity, sedation, euphoria, and reduced anxiety. Some people call this combination of features, a ‘runner’s high’.
Up to 77% of runners claim to experience this state of euphoria during or after running. This heightened sense of wellbeing stems from endocannabinoids. These powerful painkillers, released during long-distance running, also stimulate the release of the neurotransmitter, dopamine – which is also known as the brain’s feel-good hormone.
“Regular exercise can help you control your weight and combat health conditions but it has positive mental health benefits too.”
Rest assured, you don’t need to be into endurance exercise to feel the benefits of a workout session.
The top three benefits regular, sustained exercise can bring to your life
The more you move, the more energised you’ll feel. Regular physical activity improves your muscle strength and boosts your endurance, giving you the energy you need to think clearer and come up with new ideas.
Exercise immediately prior has been linked to improvements in cognitive performance for tasks ranging from simple reaction time to creative thinking. In one particular study, older, sedentary adults had an MRI scan both before and after exercise. Those in the aerobic training group showed significant increases in grey and white matter brain regions compared with those who didn’t do any training.
Regular physical exercise can have a positive impact on your body and mind!
Whether you’ve made long walks in the park part of your exercise routine, or you’re running on that treadmill regularly, consistent exercise is the key to improved brain function and good mental health.
Remember, if you don’t already have a fitness regime in place, it’s a good idea to speak with your GP before you begin any new physical routine.
Staying physically active for as long as possible is all about giving you a healthier brain and body – even as you age. Taking part in consistent activities can simultaneously sharpen your focus, build greater concentration, promote neurogenesis and reduce negative thought patterns.
Of course, while you’re keeping your brain limber, regular exercise can also help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and boost your stamina and muscles. Ultimately, it’s a win-win for your general wellbeing!
All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified healthcare professional.
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