Exercise & Mental Health: 3 Ways Exercise Boosts Brain Function & Can Make You Happier by 30Seconds Health
For the past decade or so, scientists have pondered how exercising can boost brain function. Regardless of age or fitness level (yup, this includes everyone from walkers, lifters, runners to marathoners), studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits.
How does it do that? Angelo Sorrenti, a Professor of Human Sciences & Sports Medicine who created the one-of-a-kind ASIAM workout, says exercise boosts brain function in the following ways:
- Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed, for this reason, it’s highly recommended for people suffering from depression or anxiety. Exercise is much more effective and healthier than antidepressant pills in treating depression, by naturally stimulating chemicals produced by the brain. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly the gym rat type, getting a happy buzz from working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost overall mood.
- As we get older, our brains gets a little … hazy. As aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease kill off brain cells, losing many important brain functions in the process. Exercise can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45. Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning. Various studies on mice and men have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells (aka neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performance.
- Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learning. For this reason, research has linked children’s brain development with level of physical fitness. But exercise-based brainpower isn’t just for kids. Working out can boost memory among grown-ups, too. A study showed that running sprints improved vocabulary retention among healthy adults.
Read more about Angelo Sorrenti.
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