As if you needed a better reason than helping you live a longer, less-painful, more enjoyable life, here’s another reason to get off your butt and exercise: it makes you smarter. And don’t take MissFit’s word for it. Scientists have proven it.
Yahoo News reported on this on March 12. As we age, our memory declines, but “exercise boosts brainpower by building new brain cells in a brain region linked with memory and memory loss.” They first did the experiments on mice, but thankfully backed it up with MRIs of people’s brains before and after a 3-month regimen of aerobic exercise. While they haven’t figured out the perfect workout to build your brain & body simultaneously (I’m sure someone will jump on this idea and have a book out about it by year’s end), they plan to do more experiments. Read the article for yourself.
Looking for more brain benefits? According to the American Psychological Association, working out helps you cope better with stress: “Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress, according to research into the effect of exercise on neurochemicals involved in the body’s stress response.” If you’ve been a regular exerciser and then have to miss too many workouts in a row, I’m sure you’ve felt the affects on your mood as well as in your abs.
Sciencenews.org has a funny cartoon of a brain on an exercise bike to illustrate their article on being “Buff and Brainy” (Should we get t-shirts with this slogan? Email me if you want one!). They cite research that shows that, “Fitness prompts nerve cells to multiply, strengthens their connections, and protects them from harm,” which could eventually lead to “new treatments for people with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries.” What this says to me right now is if you want to reduce your chances of getting brain diseases associated with aging, get to the gym or out on the road immediately! Check out the full article at the above link for all the scientific lingo and reasons why.
So, I hope this week’s blog has expanded your mind and the reasons why you should be making fitness your top priority. Put it on your schedule now. Your brain and not just your body is depending on it.
MissFit, aka Eve Hartman, is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer who gladly makes house calls. For more information, contact her at 914-588-0591 or at TeamMissFit.com. To subscribe to Miss Fit’s RSS feed, click here.