The Link Between Cardiovascular Exercise and Brain Health
It is well-known that regular exercise plays an important role in overall physical health, however, evidence increasingly suggests that exercise also affects the brain. Recent research indicates that a specific type of exercise, cardiovascular exercise can bring numerous positive benefits to the brain, helping to improve cognitive functioning, preserve brain volume, and even reduce age-related decline in the body’s ability to store information.
Improving Cognitive Function and Memory
Cardiovascular exercise has been linked to improved cognitive function and better memory. Physical activity helps raise levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that helps protect neurons, and increases production of new neurons (a process known as neurogenesis). It has been linked to increased mental health and better thinking and decision-making skills. It also appears to help improve concentration and reduce symptoms of stress and depression. Among those who are elderly, it might even help preserve cognitive ability.
Preserve Brain Volume and Reduce Age-Related Decline
Evidence indicates that regular cardiovascular exercise can help maintain brain volume. It can help preserve the brain by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters, which help carry messages between neurons, and by increasing levels of hormones and other substances that boost brain growth and health. That, in turn, can help aging brains remain sharp, preserving the ability to think and remember. In addition, research suggests that cardiovascular exercise aids in the body’s ability to store information, decreasing the effects of age-related decline.
In conclusion, there is mounting evidence that cardiovascular exercise can lead to improved cognitive function, better memory, brain volume preservation, and a reduced age-related decline in the body’s ability to store information. Exercise is an important lifestyle habit and the physical benefits are well-documented, however, the mental and psychological benefits of exercise should not be overlooked.