You may be the kind to exercise daily, or you may be working on getting on a plan that works for you. Exercise is an integral part of life. It keeps your muscles and bones strong. Did you know exercise is also great for your brain?
Exercising gets your heart pumping, which in return increases blood flow to your brain. When your brain has more oxygen, it helps your body function better. When you improve your blood oxygen levels, you improve your cognition and balance. It also helps release tons of hormones, which facilitates the creation of a nourishing environment for the growing brain cells. Additionally, it promotes brain plasticity by stimulating new connections between cells in many important cortical areas of the brain.
Exercise boosts your mood and can reduce stress by releasing dopamine and endorphins in your brain, which are responsible for making you feel happy. With this, exercise also helps you release those chemicals that make you feel stressed out or anxious. Those who exercise regularly tend to be happier and less stressed and have a better ability to control their emotions than those who don’t.
Regular exercise can help improve your long-term and short-term memory. Children and young adults who were asked to exercise just a few times a week showed significant improvements in their ability to remember what they read. Studies have shown that adults who exercise have larger left and right hippocampus than those who don’t, which further correlated with better spatial memory performance.
Is your mind constantly going, or do you have a hard time getting to sleep? Exercising regularly can help to regulate your sleep pattern. To help get to sleep, find gentle exercises, like yoga or stretching, to promote sleep.
Reaping the Benefits
Enjoying the benefits of exercise is easier than you may think and can be done at any experience level. It’s recommended that you get at least thirty minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you are torn for time, you can break up your thirty minutes for whatever works for you. For example, maybe one day, you work out for ten minutes three times, or fifteen minutes twice to get it done.
Overall, exercise is a fantastic way to keep not only your physical health but your mental health sharp. You’ll build a stronger resilience when it comes to mental health or whatever life may throw at you. You’ll feel its effects on your mood and improved sleep.
At Mountain Vista Psychology we can help you work through your anxiety and teach you how to overcome it. Our therapists are ready to talk. For a FREE consult email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 720-583-9339.
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!