The Quick And Easy Way To Optimize Your Brain Health At Any Age With Exercise
Secret #1: How Does Exercise Benefit The Brain
The bottom line with this is exercising has positive impact on brain function, including memory and information processing.
What’s important for everyone to understand about this is that many studies in children, adults and the elderly have shown that exercising increases volume and size in various areas of the brain such as the brain’s memory area called the hippocampus. Exercise also increases heart rate which pumps more oxygen and nutrients to the brain, improving brain function, being able to focus on complex tasks, organize and think abstractly. Exercise also improves mood, sleep, anxiety and reduces stress which all contribute to cognitive impairment.
Everyone needs to know this because it is great news to know we can positively impact our brain health at any age with exercise, stimulating brain plasticity, neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change or adjust itself throughout your life according to the lifestyle you are living, the food you eat, how toxic your environment is, and how you chose to think and emotionally react to things, good or bad.
At this point you should if you are not exercising start with 10-20 minutes of walking this week. Find a time of day that works with your schedule, just like it is an appointment and set your phone alarm to remind you. You will be more likely to stick with it.
Secret #2: How Exercise Helps To Reduce Insulin Resistance, Inflammation, And Provides An Environment For Boosting The Brain
Here’s the crucial thing you need to understand with this secret: exercise provides an environment for boosting the brain by increasing the gene expression of BDNF, a protein that increases the growth of new brain cells according to Dr. Perlmutter. BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) not only increases the growth of new brain cells, it also helps to repair and protect brain cells from degeneration. The more you exercise the more BDNF you produce. Regular exercise can reverse insulin resistance which is a resistance to the hormone of insulin. Resistance to insulin results in higher blood sugar and puts you more at risk for prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and chronic inflammation. If you are diabetic you have twice the chance of age related decline in cognitive function such as dementia and Alzheimers.
What’s most important about this is that you are not stuck with the brain cells you have now for the rest of your life as we once thought. You don’t have to be scared of becoming insulin resistant, diabetic or full of chronic inflammation which ages you before your time.
This secret will help you because adding exercise to your life brings a lot brain impacting benefits which is huge. So why wouldn’t you chose to live life to the best you can for the sake of your brain?.
And that leads us to the fact that you should just get started with something and if you are working out already, great job! Your brain is so happy!
Secret #3: How To Choose Your Exercise Depending On Your Physical Level
What you need to understand about this is aerobic exercise of some form is great for the brain. It improves brain function and helps with damaged cells. Again, if you are just beginning, start with something easy like walking. Start slow and work up to 10,000 steps per day. Find something you enjoy doing, working out at the gym, swimming, dancing, biking, hiking, the ideas are endless. Even household chores indoor or out can be considered a workout.
Bottom Line: If you are already working out or an athlete, keep doing what you are doing. You might want to add in some interval training, which is just another way to ramp up the heart rate. Just know that what is good for your heart, is good for your brain.
Everyone needs to understand this is key because it is easy to get caught up in the all or nothing mentality. It is important to start where you are otherwise you are likely to get to sore or injured. It is better to start light and micro progress so you are always moving forward. Even as an experienced athlete, when you add a new program start small and add at a slow rate. You may be in shape but new workouts use muscles in different ways. Micro progession will help reduce potential for overuse injuries to occur.
So now you should decide what exercise you are going to do if you are just starting. Have you decided what you are adding if you already work out or you are an athlete? Have you scheduled your workout time into your phone? Have you chosen the day you are starting? Is it tomorrow? Your brain will be so happy you did.