Exercise and Brain Health…

healthy mind healthy body


While it’s true that many areas of your health will be positively impacted when you stick to a regular exercise program, you may not realize the serious implications it presents for brain health as well. Most likely you are focused on burning calories, changing your body composition, building muscle or strengthening your cardiovascular system.

Truth is, exercise is key to reaching portions of your brain and thought processes that you would otherwise never reach. It can literally change brain anatomy and physiology. It prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to each other and stimulates the development of new nerve cells from stem cells located in the hippocampus – an area of the brain related to learning and memory.



Because the human brain evolved under conditions of near constant motion, it would seem that the “optimal environment for processing information would include motion.” Indeed that is exactly what one finds.

Seems regular exercise boosts brain power the same way that physical activity strengthens your muscles. In 30 minutes of exercise we can gain brain matter, have better cognitive skills, improve our memory, increase alertness and learn better.

Regular exercise helps to clear the mind and once the mind is clear and you are able to think clearly, you open the way for great ideas to manifest. You easily solve present issues and let go of old ones that you have no control over during an exercise session and the end result is a clean slate. If you don’t clear your mind slate eventually your internal mess creates “internal stress” and that’s what shortens your lifespan.

One study in Neurology revealed that exercise helps to slow brain shrinkage in those with early Alzheimer’s disease. Adults diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s who were less active physically had 4 times more brain shrinkage than normal older adults.

And studies don’t stop there. Even the youth prove that exercise is mandatory to good brain health. According to research, students with high levels of cardiovascular fitness fare better in subjects like English, Science and Mathematics than those that are less active.

Because brain cells depend very heavily on oxygen (increased oxygen is associated with optimal brain functioning),  it turns out your exercise sessions provide more than that “feel-good endorphin boost” – they increase oxygen flow to the brain giving you an oxygen high resulting in mental sharpness.



Proper exercise does not need to be time consuming nor does it have to be tortuous for you to reap the benefits that serve for the long haul. However, as we age, exercise is not negotiable…it is mandatory because if your brain is not functioning optimally, you won’t be living to your full potential.

Besides all the physical benefits that exercise provides, exercise is a drug for your brain.

It boosts brain power, soothes the soul and improves over-all well-being. We’d be wise to spend less time sitting in front of a computer or in a classroom environment studying and more time focused on physical activity.

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