Everyone knows that exercises are good for them. It contributes to weight loss and weight management. This is good for the heart and cardiovascular system. And in general, it keeps you in good shape and health.
But do you know that exercise is also good for your brain? This can make you smarter. Not only that, but exercise can help prevent disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and depression. It can even increase your chances of recovery from a stroke or brain injury.
This exercise improves learning and memory.
It turns out that physical activity actually incorporates hormonal support systems in the brain. Activating these systems strengthens the brain circuits that you already have and helps to develop new ones.
Exercise increases several growth factors in the brain, which are responsible for helping brain cells to survive and divide into new brain cells or neurons. Only a few regions of the brain can produce new neurons, and physical exercise increases the amount and rate of production of neurons in these regions.
Exercises also increase blood circulation in the brain. In laboratory studies exercises increase the number of blood vessels that supply several regions of the brain. This affects the improvement of nutrient supply and the removal of waste from critical regions that affect mental functions.
One of the areas of the brain producing new neurons is the hypocamp. Hippocamp plays a key role in science, memory and mind. The exercise induces a new growth of neurons in the hippocampus and improves performance on several types of cognitive tasks.
Exercises improve mental health.
Another important role of the hippocampus is to respond to stress. Studies show that war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorders have a smaller hippocampus. Stress actually damages the hippocampus and can cause the death of neurons, contrary to what happens during exercise.
People who exercise regularly know that they are much more capable of coping with stress during the day than when they do not exercise. This is partly because exercise and stress have an opposing effect on hippocampus and exercise improve the “buffer” of coping with stress.
Interestingly, antidepressants work in a similar way. Although we do not fully understand the exact mechanism of antidepressant action, we know that several classes of antidepressants increase the number of new neurons in the hippocampus. They do the same as exercises!
Antidepressants activate the same systems of growth factors in the brain that activate exercise. They also trigger a new growth of neurons in the hippocampus, similar to exercise routines. Psychiatrists have known for a long time that patients experiencing depression react much better to therapy if they combine it with regular exercise. In some cases, the exercise alone is sufficient to alleviate depressive symptoms.
With so many children and adults on antidepressants today, I have to wonder what proportion of them can get from these drugs with more physical activity. Of course, antidepressant therapy is both beneficial and necessary for some people. But the rate of prescriptions today, especially in children, is out of control.
Exercises protect the brain from damage and diseases.
Studies also show that exercise protects the brain from aging and injury. Older adults who regularly exercise better perform cognitive tasks and have lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. They also regain a stronger position after strokes and accidental brain damage.
It can be argued that practitioners have many factors in their lives that can contribute to this. For example, they smoke less, eat better, and so on. However, studies on laboratory animals also confirm that physical exercise is protective in nature. Animals that are trained are protected from brain injury in laboratory tests and do not develop the range of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in model systems.
Studies also show that in addition to the protective role of exercise, it is a valuable therapeutic tool for brain function. Physical fitness training improves cognitive functions related to planning, planning, task coordination and attention. Adults who practice have more grey matter, representing more brain cells, than adults who do not exercise.
Focus on the young family.
All the beneficial effects of the exercises are intensified by the early start of life. This is a kind of complex interest in the bank. The earlier you start saving, the more money there is to earn interest in the end. Unfortunately, however, schools, due to budgetary reasons, restrict physical education. Football mothers must unite and regain physical strength in our schools.