With computers, cell phones, laptops, tablets and other technology so readily available, our modern world moves at a rapid pace. We’re expected to multitask while working feverishly to get everything accomplished. Because of this constant “doing,” stress levels have never been higher. Our inner peace and mental health are suffering because we’ve forgotten to allow the downtime our bodies and our minds have earned. The time needed to destress us from the busyness of life.
Exercise is the magic
Exercise is the magic that works both the body and the brain.
It is empowered to reduce stress and anxiety by increasing soothing brain chemicals like endorphins and GABA. Antibodies strengthening the immune system get elevated and endocannabinoids (just like the active ingredient in cannabis) are released that play a role in mood, memory and pain sensation.
Simple but effective: Burning the equivalent of 350 calories three times a week through sustained, sweat-inducing activity, symptoms of depression can be reduced to the same level as antidepressants but with none of the dangerous side effects.
Fitness is not something that ends at the neck. The health of the brain needs to be at the top of our priority list because it is the central processing unit for all other bodily systems and processes. The brain is an amazing complex structure composed of 100 billion individual neural cells that each communicate with up to 10 thousand neighbors. We can’t experience physical health without enjoying mental health because they are closely linked together.
Those that exercise consistently know that the benefits of exercise last long after the exercise does.
When we exercise our brains receive a nice boost of blood which positively affects the way we think, how we feel and what we do throughout the day. In other words, exercising provides our minds with a reward – an “energy high” and this clarity helps our minds to be quick and sharp, our concentration to be better and our memory gets stronger as well.
Exercise provides a boost of energy to the software in our brains and stimulates energy in the rest of our body. In other words, it prevents age-related cognitive decline.
As researchers work at discovering more about how important vigorous physical activity is towards prevention and as a healing modality for mental and emotional health, the significance of it is becoming paramount.
Studies reveal that inflammation is the most significant driving force escalating neurogenerative disease and regular exercise has proven to significantly lower inflammation in both the body and the brain.
Other brain benefits of actively exercising, include increased blood flow with a boost in compounds that protect the nerves, improved survival of neurons, reduction of plaque in the brain and a change in the way damaging proteins act inside the brain which slows the onset of dementia.
Exercise is, essentially, the “oil” that keeps the wheels in our brains functioning at peak performance and the simple truth is, the more one exercises, the healthier their brain is.
In fact, meta-analysis of more than a dozen related studies on the effects of physical activity and the development of brain illnesses, revealed that exercise reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by 28% and 45% respectively.
These types of illnesses are not only life changing to those experiencing them, but they devastate families, which should be motivation for anyone, not already exercising, to get up and move!
The hippocampus is the brain’s memory center and assuming we support it with healthy habits like exercise and proper diet, it is capable of adapting and releasing hormones from the muscles and growing new cells throughout our entire lifetime even into our 90’s.
When inactive, the vital connections in the brain get compromised and begin breaking down in massive numbers. Everything we once understood in our world becomes foreign and even frightening because our world no longer functions the way it once did.
The longer we remain inactive, the greater our chances of compounding the situation and developing heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. We may even experience a gradual loss of mobility that eventually imprisons us to a bed-ridden state.
To sum up, being active means being alive and exercise is the all-natural, no-pill prescription for stellar physical and mental health.
It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but when the body feels tired and fatigued or stressed out, movement is the perfect medicine and exercise is exactly what the doctor ordered. It rejuvenates the body and mind in a very short period, offering the biggest “bang for our buck” in terms of how much energy we put out and what we receive back!
The dynamic duo empowered to increase the enjoyment of life and extend lifespans is proper exercise paired with a healthy diet.
When proper exercise is valued for the amazing tool it is, even those that currently suffer from brain related issues can reclaim lost memory capacity, build and boost lost reasoning ability and emotional stability along with a host of other neurological functions
Bottom line is this:
Our body is one operating unit and strengthening our physical health, strengthens and improves our mental health. It’s a win-win for all involved and the best way for us to keep our sanity.
Don’t wait till mental decline rears its ugly head to act. Brain health is just as crucial as heart health. The choices we make daily either increase or decrease our brain health.
Adopt a preventive approach to personal health and watch them magic happen –
“Wellness Wake Up Call” can help you do just that…
For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your health and fitness goals and achieving the success you desire in life, please visit: