May 1st was National Fitness Day. We have all heard that fitness is good for your health, but did you know that fitness is very important for brain health and function as well?
Exercise is one of the most transformative things that you can do for your brain. Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a neuroscientist and leading researcher in neurology. Dr. Suzuki’s work provides scientific evidence that exercise has immediate, long lasting, and protective benefits for your brain!
There are three proven reasons how exercise can improve your brain function:
1. Immediate effects on your brain – a single workout will immediately increase the feel-good chemicals in your brain like dopamine and serotonin, which puts you in a good mood. It also improves your ability to shift and focus attention lasting 2 hours, as well as faster reaction times. However, you need to exercise regularly for long lasting results.
2. Exercise actually changes the brain’s anatomy, physiology, and function. With regular exercise over a long time span, the hippocampus actually produces new brain cells which makes it increase in volume. It also enhances your prefrontal cortex, which is the center in your brain for executive functioning that includes attention, focus, decision making, personality expression and aspects of speech and language.
3. With regular, long term exercise habits, you have long lasting improvement for attention, focus, mood, and long term memory.
Think about the brain as a muscle – the more you exercise, the stronger the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex become. This is important because the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are the most susceptible parts of your brain to neurodegenerative disease and cognitive decline in aging. Unfortunately there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. But with increased exercise over your lifetime, you are strengthening your brain and creating the strongest and biggest prefrontal cortex and hippocampus so it takes longer for these diseases to take effect. Dr. Suzuki calls regular exercise ‘a supercharged 401K for your brain’.
Private Home Health Care invites you to celebrate National Fitness Day by lacing up your sneakers and participating in your favorite form of exercise!