Exercise improves your brain power! I know you’ve heard it before, but recent research confirms it. In fact, the very act of exercise makes you feel better even before the weight loss benefits kick in.
And it certainly works for me. A few years ago, the only weight I ever pushed around came from the sound of my own loud mouth. Three years later, and dozens of pounds lost, I can attest that exercise saved my life, improved my well-being and enhanced my intellectual focus. The trick is to find the exercise that you like doing, just for the fun of it.
Here’s why it would work for you:
Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, says in his book, “Brain Rules,” that a lifetime of exercise can result in a sometimes astonishing elevation in cognitive performance, compared with those who are sedentary. Medina asserts that exercisers outperform couch potatoes in all sorts of brain metrics tests, such as those that measure long-term memory, reasoning, attention, problem-solving, even so-called fluid-intelligence tasks – which refers to how you put to use the information that you learn. One of the biggest surprises is that you don’t even have to exercise that long or hard to reap these benefits! Did you know that even walking several times a week will benefit your brain?
The ideal is doing two to three bouts of aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes – which can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by 60%!
Exercise improves your mood because it stimulates the release of three feel good chemicals in your brain. Called neurotransmitters, their medical names are serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. By stimulating the release of these hormones, exercise has been proven to help lower depression and anxiety. So, get out there and walk off the stress, or go for a bike ride, or – if you’re not the outdoorsy type – put on some music and dance like a fool in your own home. If you’re stressed or trying to work through a strategic solution for a business challenge, try taking the stairs up and down instead of the elevator.