Many people workout for different reasons. Some like to stay fit, some like to know they are combating diseases that creep up, and others workout to boost their overall happiness. Studies have proven that exercise creates chemical releases in the brain that trigger mental health benefits. This information alone should have most people skipping to the gym or park for some much needed brain boosting.
Think about it, your brain is like any other muscle in your body. It requires stimulation and exercise so it can function with day to day activities. Some people think brain boosting activities like puzzles and reading can beat a poor memory and a tired brain, but slapping on some workout sneaks can have the same effect. Activities like cardio and aerobics can actually help shape a better mood and overall brain function even at just 20 minutes a day.
So how does exercise and the brain even work together? Well, when you increase your heart rate more oxygen filters through your body and makes its way to your noggin. This excites your hormones which helps your brain grow and adapt to challenges you face at work or in life. Think about it… after you workout even when you dreaded it, you feel pretty good. Right? I know that I feel refreshed and a sense of accomplishment which is a feeling I really value.
Ever have a bad day, week, or a rough patch you just can’t escape from? It’s normal, it’s life. We all face challenges during the day that put a damper on our moods which eventually weigh us down. Exercise of any kind has been proven to be just as effective as antidepressants that millions of Americans rely on. Medications that help people fight depression and anxiety work, but they eventually can be poison in our bodies by causing liver issues, weight gain, and unhealthy eating habits. Running or any other kind of heart pumping exercise sends signals to your brain and more endorphins are released which help you generally feel good. Not only does this happen, but exercise can help people with worries ease their mind and take their minds off of things that can be bothering them.
Stress. It’s a killer and one of the leading causes of heart issues. Working out can also ease stress from work, school, or in your personal life. After a long day, you’re bound to be stressed about something. People are usually stressed about things they have no control over. Exercise can alleviate that stress that keeps you up at night and even the kind of stress that makes you lose your appetite. The gym or park are great places for new scenery and new faces. Join a class or plug in some of your favorites music and tune out the world for a bit. Will your stress just go away, no, but exercise makes you sleep better and actually makes you hungry. Major win!
So what’s stopping you? There are so many brain benefits from exercise you’d be crazy to not start now. Is it time? A lot of people feel that they don’t have the time to workout since they have too much to do. I get that. Life can be demanding especially when you have a job, kids, or people who really rely on you. You have to make the time even if it’s just 20 minutes a few times per week. Go on a walk during lunch time. Instead of jamming in Netflix, stroll around the neighborhood or check out some at home workout ideas. Trust me, I’ve posted a ton of articles on at home workouts. As a human, it’s ok to be selfish especially when it comes to your mental health. What good will you be to your family and friends if you don’t start taking care of yourself now?
Now that you know all the great things exercise can do for your brain and body, it’s time to start penciling it into your day. Exercise boosts your mood, makes your brain function better, and can help you combat diseases like Alzheimer’s and dimensia. So what do you say? It’s time to be brain strong and happy today! Happy Brain Workout!