HOW DOES REGULAR EXERCISE IMPROVE MEMORY & OTHER BRAIN FUNCTIONS?

August 25, 2022

Exercising on a daily basis helps prevent heart disease, strokes, diabetes mellitus, and even cancer. It also promotes weight loss, regulates blood pressure, improves mental health, and helps clear age-related brain fog. It strengthens your memory and thinking capabilities and more…

Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that when you do regular aerobic exercises certain areas in the brain, including the hippocampus, verbal memory, and learning areas, increase in size. This study was done in an effort to determine solutions for dementia.

The Effects of Exercise on the Brain

Exercise increases memory and thinking capabilities both directly and indirectly.

Direct ways include:

  • Decreasing insulin resistance
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Increasing the release of growth factor chemicals (These chemicals protect the health of brain cells and enhance the growth of new blood vessels in the brain.)

Indirect ways include:

  • Improvement of mood and quality of sleep
  • Reduction of stress and anxiety levels
  • Prevention of cognitive impairment

Studies show that the brain areas responsible for memory and thinking (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex) are larger in size in people who exercise on a regular basis.

One study found that regular exercises of moderate intensity for 6 months or more increased the size of multiple brain areas.

Start Exercising Now

Studies show that walking and doing aerobic workouts are the best forms of exercise to pump your heart.

Now the question is, how much should you exercise to improve your memory?

Studies show that walking for one hour, twice a week is considered a moderate intensity exercise. Also, it is recommended to do moderate physical activity 4 or 5 days per week. 

Your goal should be to reach half an hour of moderate physical activity a day.

If you don’t like walking, there are many other forms of moderate-intensity exercises such as playing tennis, swimming, or squash. Note that household activities such as floor mopping are considered moderate-intensity exercises too. In general, anything that makes your heart pump and your glands release sweat is considered a moderate-intensity exercise.

The Conclusion

None can deny the importance of exercise to the overall health of the body, including brain health. Science has proven again and again that physically active people have lower rates of decline in the functions of the brain that happen with age. 

That is why the sooner you give your activity levels a bump, the healthier you will become both physically and mentally!

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