Article at a glance
You may already know that exercise is good for you, but you might not know exactly how good. We’ve all heard over and over again how exercise can increase cardiovascular health, stimulate feel-good hormones, and lower weight. Yet these benefits don’t seem convincing enough as only 1 out of every 5 U.S. adults are meeting the physical activity recommendations. Would these statistics change if more people knew the truth?
Numerous studies have reported a strong relationship between higher levels of physical activity and improved brain structure and function spanning across all age groups. Some of these findings include improved learning and memory, reduced risk of cognitive decline in adults, improved attention and academic performance in youth, attenuation of Alzheimer-related neuropathology, improved mood in persons with mood disorders, and preservation of brain tissue with age. Altogether, exercise appears to both enhance cognitive function and prevent cognitive decline.
So how can exercise provide so many benefits to the brain? Evidence shows that physical activity is one lifestyle modulator that can increase neural plasticity of our minds. The ability of neurons in the brain to change and reorganize continuously to meet dynamic demands has been determined to be achievable and essential for brains of all ages.
Here are five ways in which physical activity has proven to support your brain health and induce neuroplasticity.
It turns out aerobic exercise can do more than weight management, it can also increase the health of your brain.
What have you done for your brain today?