We’ve all heard about the physical benefits of exercise. But do you know how exercise can revitalize your mind?
Sure, hitting the gym is great for folks who want to build muscles or improve cardiovascular health. However, over the years, many researchers have teamed up to study the benefits of physical exercise on the mind.
In this post, we’ll be discussing 7 reasons how physical exercise can revive your mind:
1. Improves Memory
If you leave your keys frequently at the counter, we have some good news for you. Regular physical activity can actively boost memory and improve brain power.
According to experts, sweating increases the production of cells in the hippocampus that are responsible for shaping your memory. Many experts have linked this to improving a child’s brain development via physical activity, (now we know how important recess is!). Yes, sweating and hitting the gym might not seem like a fun activity but you can always opt for milder forms of exercises such as running and yoga.
Additionally, exercise can drastically improve memory formation. So the next time, you’re trying to memorize something, consider walking or cycling while you revise. German researchers have found that people who exercise could pick up a foreign language at a much faster pace.
2. Slows Down Cognitive Decline
As we grow older, we are likely to experience cognitive decline, making it more and more difficult to grasp new concepts. Fortunately, there have been various studies that prove how staying physically fit especially aerobic fitness can improve brain health.
Rest assured, you don’t have to opt for incredibly vigorous workout sessions or hit the gym. Start with brisk walking for about 30 minutes a day. That should be enough to slow down cognitive decline. Once you get into the habit of exercising regularly, you’ll notice significant improvements in terms of memory and concentration.
Aside from improving cardiovascular health, exercising can drastically improve coordination, balance, and agility. Researchers have also found that physical activities such as weightlifting also have a neurological impact. Folks who are not fond of traditional ways of exercising can opt for dancing or take part in aerobic activities. This is especially great for elderly folks who cannot take up high-intensity physical activities.
If you wonder how exercising can be such a potent brain tonic, then the answer is probably linked to improved blood flow. While researchers still have plenty of work to do and are still figuring out the inner workings of the mind, it’s possible that exercising stimulates the birth of new neurons.
3. Boosts Self-Confidence
It’s completely natural for one to feel down in the dumps sometimes. On a primary level, hopping on a treadmill can help you feel much better about yourself. Researchers have found that exercising regularly can beat stress, significantly improve self-esteem and boost one’s self-image. So if you’ve been feeling down about yourself regarding your weight or age, it’s time you start exercising.
Much of this is linked to how the brain releases “happy chemicals” during physical activity. As a bonus, hitting the gym will also help you lose a couple of extra pounds in the process.
4. Enhances Creativity
What do writers and artists do when they run out of creative ideas? They go out for a walk. Many creative folks have lamented how walking or physical activity boosts imagination. According to a study, psychologists found that strolling around Stanford or stepping on a treadmill can improve bolster divergent thinking – this is pretty much the idea-generating powerhouse of the mind.
So the next time you run out of ideas or aren’t able to come up with a creative solution, consider going out for a stroll instead.
5. Improves Mental Health
You’ve probably heard this one before. Physical activity can contribute to improved mental health and fitness. In fact, they often refer to this as a “runner’s high.” Simply put, you’re likely to feel a burst of elation following intense exercise. Again this is often linked to the happy chemicals released by the brain while exercising. While it’s not clear how much endorphin affects the brain, it is enough to create a favorable response.
Alternatively, you can also opt for slower paced physical exercises such as yoga or meditation. Yoga teaches the body how to take a step back and practice breathing exercises. Aside from significant stress reduction, people have also found that meditation can shrink a part of the amygdala which is strongly associated with creating anxiety, fear, and stress.
If stress gets overwhelming, seek professional help. There are reliable telehealth platforms that can connect you to a mental health counselor.
6. Eases Anxiety
Whether you’re at work or at school, anxiety can take a toll on your life and hinder daily activities. Researchers concluded that exercising can calm anxious folks, allowing them to enjoy each day as it comes. Managing your anxiety plays an integral role in coping with stress. This revives the mind and contributes to overall mental and physical health.
7. Boosts Concentration
If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate on work and academics, then perhaps you should look for ways to boost concentration. According to experts, exercising regularly can drastically boost concentration and improve attention span.
For instance, a study was conducted on school going children after which it was deduced that taking up a physical activity can boost one’s ability to multi-task and curb distractions whilst boosting confidence.
So there you have it. Hopefully, this detailed guide will encourage you to get off the couch and exercise. There is a lot of talk about the physical benefits of exercising but it’s clear that its mental benefits are no less important. Happy Exercising!