Your Brain on Exercise

It’s well-established that regular exercise can help us achieve physical fitness, improved health, and even possibly that perfectly sculpted body we all secretly desire, but little thought is often given to how regular exercise can improve the health and functions of your brain.

Getting your sweat on can improve learning and mental performance, encourage the pituitary gland to release endorphins, and reduce sensitivity to stress, depression, and anxiety.

Studies have shown that physically active women 65 years and older were less likely to develop cognitive decline, and patients with psychiatric disorders who practiced yoga or walked for one hour, three times a week, showed higher gamma-aminobutyric acid levels, improved mood, and decreased anxiety.

The benefits of exercise are particularly important when it comes to their effects on developing brains. Regular physical activity has been proven to improve IQ and academic performance in school-age children. A link has also been established between attention span and concentration and exercise. Even at a university level, the education benefits are apparent. Thirty minutes of running has been shown to improve reaction times and vocabulary learning in undergrads.

So if there weren’t already enough reasons to get moving, do it for the sake of your brain!