Exercise and Your Brain

Disclaimer

You Cant Outrun Your ForkThe inspiration for this post was an article written by Craig Hospital and shared with me by Trina Tbi Chambers-Bradlee. Text under the heading, “Article” is an excerpt of the article written by Craig Hospital. I do not have a degree in kinesiology. I am not a physician, physiologist, or physical therapist. Check with your physician prior to changing your exercises or the time you spend exercising. Tips in the article and exercises in the video are not suitable for all people. 

 

Introduction

There are many physical benefits of exercise, but did you know exercise also helps improve cognition? Cognition includes your mental processes, such as:

  • Attention, focus, and concentration
  • Processing and understanding information
  • Calculating and estimating
  • Solving problems
  • Making decisions
  • Learning
  • Remembering
  • Finding the right words for letters, email, text messages, conversations, and debates
  • Controlling impulses and desires
  • Acting appropriately
  • Thinking clearly

Article How do Scientists Know Exercise Helps Cognition?

  • Scientists have put special dyes and tracers into people’s blood. The scientists then use special machines to track circulating blood. They found that more blood makes its way to the brain in people who exercise than in people who do not exercise.
  • Scientists have been studying older people. They’ve found that those who are not physically active are more likely to have cognitive problems.
  • Other scientists have learned exercise helps people who have depression. Their mental problems often improve after exercise.
  • Scientists have given research subjects different tests before and after they exercise. The tests measured things like how fast their thought processes were and how well they could remember. The scientists then compared the results. They found improvements after exercise.

What kind of exercise is best?

  • Exercise is best when it is regular. Several times a week is best. And you need to do it week after week, and month after month. You need to do it hard enough and long enough to see increases in your level of fitness. It needs to be a habit, part of your life.
  • Exercise that includes changes in scenery is good. Workouts that involve interacting with other people are also good. An exercise class might be better than working out alone. Running or biking outside beats running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle. The less “boring” or automatic the exercise is, the better it probably is for your brain! But don’t get the wrong idea: Any kind of exercise is better than none at all.

Video No Limit Boot Camp | Orange County Boot Camp from Sako Yakinian on Vimeo. Credits Click here to read another Beyond Injury post about the benefits of exercise. Thanks to Craig Hospital for writing the article that inspired this post; Trina Tbi Chambers-Bradlee for sharing the article with me; No Limit Boot Camp for allowing me to embed a video I used in this post; Vimeo for hosting the video; Google for helping me find the picture I used in the post; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture, video, and text I used in this post.

2 Comments

  1. I love the video of the boot camp – lots of good ideas.
    Thank you, Scott, for taking the time to include the video.

    1. Nancy, I am always happy to share and thankful that you share your comments too. Hopefully, the post and/or the video will help you reach some of your goals. Best wishes. ~ Scott

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