Who knew that exercise was also good for brain power? Exercise – do it for your health, do it for your image, but also do it for cognitive function. Did you know that even just 30 minutes on the treadmill can give your brain what it needs to preform at maximum efficiency?
Exercise helps to pump extra blood to your brain, this aids in the transport of oxygen and the nutrients needed to promote brain function.
Cardio actually floods the brain with chemicals that enhance memory, problem solving, and decision making. Pick up a book, or go over flash cards while exercising! This physical exercise increases BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) synthesis into the brain. BDNF is a protein responsible for learning, higher thinking, and long term memory! It also plays a role in brain cell growth, mood regulation, and learning. BDNF can also be looked at as a fertilizer for the brain, priming your brain in its growth.
WHERE TO START
To see results you should be doing at least 30 minutes of cardio three times a week. When you’re ready you can then build up to daily cardio sessions. Studies suggest working out every other day to build up BDNF in the brain more rapidly. After a few months you can then gradually increase the intensity of your workouts to boost mental returns. Alternate between your normal routines, and routines that will mentally challenge you such as tennis or even dancing. Doing a combination of the aerobic and resistance exercise, such as lifting free weights, may offer the brain the biggest benefits.
Sweat more, stress less, increase your mood, and increase your brain power!
Article written by GUADS member Breanna, with contributions from www.active.com