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Is Exercise Only for Physical Fitness?

04.22.2015 · Posted in Health

“Exercise not only makes you physically stronger, it will also make you more intelligent”
Physical exercise may be one of the most effective and beneficial therapies widely available to everyone to elevate memory performance and helps to boost mental processing speed, memory retention and selective attention skills.

How exercise boosts brain power?
Physical exercise has affirmative effects on brain function on multiple ends, ranging from molecular to physiological level.
•    Physical exercise improves the heart rate by which more oxygen gets pumped to the brain.
•    It aids in releasing an avalanche of hormones, all of which participate in providing a nourishing environment and aids for the growth of brain cells.
•    Exercise stimulates neuro plasticity (brain plasticity) by provoking growth of new cell connections widely in the important cortical areas of brain.
•    Exercise has the ability to reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, stimulate the release of endorphins (growth factors) – chemicals responsible for the growth, survival and health of brain cells. The release of endorphins by people who exercise regularly feel alert, have more energy, increased sense of well-being, and have better memory retention.
•    Researches from Salk Institute for biological studies, University of California and Stockholm University also proved that exercise boosts brain power.
•    Exercise enables your brain to work at optimal capacity by causing the nerve cells to strengthen their interconnections, multiply and protect from damage.

Benefits of physical fitness to Brain
    Boost your IQ and make you think better
•    Exercising your body is one of the best ways to boost your IQ and preserve it through old age.
•    Exercise boosts blood supply to the brain which helps to give it the energy to think.
•    It also promotes the growth of neurons, release growth hormones and neurotransmitters that are essential to the brain’s overall health thus contributing to better memory and concentration.

•    Reduce stress & Keep depression away
•    One of the most common benefits of exercise is stress relief.
•    It helps to increase the concentration of a chemical known as norepinephrine that helps to moderate the brain’s response to stress.
•    Due to the release of endorphins by exercising depression or anxiety can be alleviated.

•    Exercise helps in Clear thinking
•    Physical fitness can improve positive self-image and boost self-esteem.
•    Due to the development of new brain cells it helps to improve overall brain performance and promotes higher thinking, decision making, learning etc.

•    Improve memory functions and facilitate information processing
•    Moderate to high intensity exercise can influence decision making, perception, response preparation and actual response that forms a part of information processing.
•    Physical exercise is a promising mediation to prevent neuro degenerative diseases and other impairments thus improving the memory functions.
•    Exercise increases the brain volume in areas involved in executive processing and also enhances phonemic skills in children with reading difficulty.

•    Prevents cognitive decline and sharpens the memory
•    As people age, some regions of the brain such as hippo-campus, responsible for memory and learning begin to shrink and leads to increased risk for developing cognitive difficulties.
•    According to a study, physical activity poses an antidepressant effect associated with growth of cells in hippo-campus by releasing chemicals in brain that supports and prevent the degeneration of hippo-campus.
•    By Exercising, more blood vessels are developed with increased blood flow to the brain resulting in Cognitive (intellectual/ mental) improvements. With greater blood flow, the faster oxygen and other nutrients reach the brain cells.
•    Also, physical exercise protects against mild cognitive impairment by improved development and survival of neurons, production of nerve protecting compounds and decreased risk of blood vessel and heart diseases.
•    In recent studies it was found that by performing moderate-to-high exercises such as aerobics and strength training results in 39% decreased risk of developing cognitive impairment.

The combination of both mental and physical exercise may be the finest measures to improve overall brain health.
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