How Exercise can Boost your Brain
We know that exercise is good for your body and keeping fit. But, did you know that exercise can boost your brain, and more interestingly, that different types of physical exercises can bring specific mental gains, from improving memory to dealing with cravings or reducing stress?
According to New Scientist magazine (22 August 2015), studies have now linked specific types of exercise with the influence of physical exercise on cognition. Apparently, different parts of the brain are activated, stimulated and ‘exercised’ by different forms of activity. For example, aerobic exercise (brisk walking, running, cycling) activates the Hippocampus, which improves memory; and high-intensity interval training or HIIT (running or cycling very hard for 40 second intervals), activates the Hypothalmus which assists appetite regulation, cravings and addictions. And lifting weights can improve complex thinking, reasoning and problem-solving. Research shows that combining certain exercises, for example mixing aerobic exercise with weight lifting appears to give the best results.
According to the author, it now seems that aerobic exercise such as running and cycling may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
If you want to keep your brain young, try running or yoga. To curb cravings, do interval sprints. To problem solve, lift weights. So, mixing it up is good and also stops you getting bored by one routine.
Ideally, you should start this when young. But if you start now, you need to do it regularly, ideally with a 20 minutes per day exercise regime.
For the full article by Teal Burrell, a science writer based in Washington DC, check out bit.ly/NSbraintrain