The post below is a guest article written by Peter Minkoff, a person just like you and me who loves fitness and appreciates the many many benefits it can bring to our daily lives. This is a great post on just that which I’m sure you’ll find just as fascinating as I did. Enjoy!
Many people start exercising because they want to lose weight, build muscle, strengthen bones and improve cardiovascular health, but regular workouts also bring some above-the-neck benefits. The feel-good-effect of exercising is now proven to be more than just a myth, and there are many studies backing that claim.
Research indicates that even the modest amount of physical activities can have a profoundly positive impact on anxiety, stress, insomnia, focus, memory, and overall mood.
Regardless of your age or fitness level, you can engage in exercising not only for its physical benefits, but also for its power to make you feel better. Here are some ways exercising can help you do that.
This is one of the most obvious mental health benefits of exercising. To put it simply, working out helps you unwind, and forget about your worries. Research indicates that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than people who don’t engage in physical activities often.
The reason behind it is that exercising increases concentration of a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress (norepinephrine). So, not only can physical activities instantly reduce stress, but they can also boost your body’s ability to cope with mental tension in the future.
Here is the science behind the feel-good effect – exercising stimulates your body to release endorphins, which are in charge of creating feelings like euphoria and happiness. Some studies have even shown that exercises can be useful for treating clinical depression. So, if you are suffering from anxiety or depression, or even just plain old blues, the solution is right in front of you – get moving.
Choose an activity that suits you the best (gym, dance, hiking, aerobics, jogging, cycling, etc.), and start boosting your mood right away.
Preventing Cognitive Decline
The unpleasant truth is that as we are getting older, both our brain and body are wearing out. The chances of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which destroy our brain cells and weaken our brain functions, are making the future even scarier.
Although exercising and healthy diet cannot cure such illnesses, they can prevent cognitive decline, which starts somewhere around age 45, before it even occurs. You can have the best results in the age between 25 and 45. If you are older than 45 or have some health issues or insecurities, see your physician or visit websites such as Lybrate – online doctor consultation to get easy and effective answers and advice.
Reading a book is the obvious answer to “how to boost your brainpower” question, but as it turns out, so is exercising regularly.
Several studies have shown that aerobic exercises can stimulate the growth of new brain cells. One research showed that rats that ran on a wheel had two or three times more new neurons in the hippocampus than the sedentary animals.
A study published in 2005 also showed that working out increases the production of brain-derived protein (BDNF), believed to help in learning, higher thinking and decision making.
Improving Overall Brain Performance
Have you ever gone to shop for groceries without a list and forgotten half of the things you needed? It happens to everyone. Your memory is sometimes simply not up to task, but you are lucky that the solution lies in regular exercising.
It can sharpen your memory and boost your ability to learn new things. Furthermore physical activities are great for tapping into creativity, increasing productivity, improving concentration and motivation.
As you see, exercising can do much more than keep you fit and good-looking. By being physically active you are helping your brain remain sharp, improving your mood and increasing your chances of a healthier, happier and longer life.