Exercise helps to increase levels of blood and oxygen to the brain which improves the overall health of your brain. It helps to clear away brain fog and increases cognitive ability so that you have clearer thinking and better memory.
Regular exercise also creates new brain cells. Studies have shown that exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is responsible for your memory and learning functions. There have been multiple studies done that show that exercise helps to decrease the risk of cognitive decline because it promotes the growth of new brain cells. This improves your memory function and learning capabilities
Exercise helps to improve focus, concentration, ability to learn and retain new information and improve test scores.
Exercise also helps to improve your mood during the day by increasing endorphins or neurotransmitters in your brain such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which among other things helps to balance and lift your mood and greatly helps to decrease symptoms of depression.
Regular exercise helps you to better handle stress and anxiety by increasing levels of GABA in your brain which helps to calm nervous activity when faced with daily stressors.
What kind of exercise should you do?
Anything that gets the heart pumping, from brisk walking to high intensity training up to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. I have included a pdf below on a Scientific 7 Minute High Intensity workout that was designed by the American College of Sports Medicine. It is 12 exercises, 30 seconds each with 10 second rest periods in between, with just your body weight, a wall and a chair.
When is the best time to exercise?
The first thing in the morning is the best time to exercise for all of the reasons I mentioned above. You need to start your day with exercise so that you increase your cognitive, memory and learning abilities, improve your mood and help you better manage stress and anxiety so that you can navigate your day much more effectively. It takes discipline to get up early, however, as the saying goes, pay now or pay later, either way, you’re going to pay!
Any guesses which profession leads to a longer life span and the least cognitive decline? Conductors for symphony orchestras, because they are constantly moving and increasing their heart rate, they are standing, not sitting and their brains are fully engaged; I believe it may also have to do with the music and rhythm as well.
In summary, exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, not only for your brain, but for your over all health. With a healthy diet and dumping the sugar and processed food habit, you can have a much healthier, more active life.