By: Kevin Guardado NSCA-CPT
It is obvious how tremendous the effects of exercise has on the human body, but even more intriguing is its effects on the mind. For one, it does a great job of clearing the mind of the day’s stresses especially if your program requires a great deal of mental concentration and focus, like all good programs should. “Exercise is the best thing you can do for your brain,” says Margery Rosen, a freelance writer specializing in health and psychology, “ Yes, brain volume shrinks slightly as we age, but the brain continues to make new neurons and fine-tunes neural connections as long as we live”.
Put very simply, exercise boosts the flow of blood to the brain. The increased circulation of blood to the brain allows the transport of oxygen and other critical nutrients and the removal of waste. The increased blood flow releases a chemical (BDNF) that stimulates the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for short and long term memory, learning, and the ability to plan and make decisions. BDNF also repairs cell damage and strengthens synapses or neural connections. The hippocampus typically shrinks by 0.5 percent each year starting as early as 40, along with other forms of cognitive and neuromuscular decline.
Exercise, along with a good diet and a balanced lifestyle, is the ONLY thing that can safely and effectively slow down the process of aging and even reverse it! Even if you started in late adulthood, you can start to see its effects a few months after starting a program. Your ability to adopt exercise as a part of your lifestyle and stay consistent with it is the only way to feel youthful, sharp and healthy, regardless of age. Start with a master plan of 150 minutes a week, or five 30 minute sessions, alternating aerobic and resistance training. Even just walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can significantly improve your health as well as get your body used to a permanent exercise routine. The key is to start with something you can handle for the long-term. Stay strong!
For more information on health and exercise or for a free consultation, stop by Fitness Results or give us a call at 909-608-1780.