One of the most important benefits of exercise is an improvement in brain function. Exercise improves working memory while also enhancing critical thinking skills. Not only does it improve one’s overall physical health; exercise can also promote mental health.
The effects of exercise on brain function is often attributed to its ability to improve blood flow to the brain. The brain requires nutrients that are critical to its growth and development.
Supplying the brain with nutrients help ensure that nerve cells are able to work in an enhanced capacity. This leads to an overall improvement in brain function.
Increased Supply of Oxygen
Along with an enhanced delivery of nutrients to the brain tissues is an increased supply of oxygen. All cells thrive on an adequate supply of oxygen so that they will perform in an optimal manner.
Ensuring the adequate supply of oxygen to the brain can help improve memory, problem-solving, and other cognitive functions. This can also help reduce the risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Stimulation of Growth Factor
Another effect of exercise on the brain is the stimulation of growth factor release. These hormones help improve the overall health of brain cells. They also facilitate the growth and development of other organs in the brain, like blood vessels and support structures.
An increase in the release of growth factors can also increase the number of functional nerve cells. The more nerve cells in the brain, the better is its function. Not only does exercise facilitate the increase in the population of functional nerve cells. It also allows them to live longer.
Exercise can also reduce tissue inflammation. It activates anti-inflammatory compounds. It also facilitates a more efficient management of oxidative stress.
Inflammation can compromise the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. If the inflammation occurs within the brain itself, this can also undermine the optimum functioning of the brain.
Exercise reduces the incidence of inflammatory conditions. Hence, one can be sure of the continued optimal functioning of the brain.
Insulin resistance can also be a major factor in brain health. There are studies that show insulin resistance can promote the faster decline of cognitive function. This can include shorter attention span, problems in memory, and poor focus and concentration.
Exercise improves the body’s ability to utilise insulin. This can help avert many of the symptoms of cognitive decline as one ages.
There are also indirect effects of exercise on brain function. First, it improves sleep by making the individual feel more relaxed.
This allows brain cells to rest while undergoing reparative and regeneration processes. Exercise also reduces anxiety and stress levels. It allows people to utilise energy molecules for more constructive mental activities.
Regular exercise can increase the volume of the medial temporal cortex and the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This equates to more brain activity, suggesting better mental and cognitive performance.
By engaging in regular exercise, you not only ensure a more robust physique. You are also ensuring a better functioning nervous system and a healthier brain.