Why do we need exercise, could be seen from the abundance of benefits of exercise. Before going there, lets start with what is an Exercise?
Exercise is a physical activity which increases the heart rate, boost energy and overall physical and mental health level. Exercise is not just important for strong bones and muscles, but also important for brain health. It prevents health problems and reduces the mind stress as well. Exercise is must if we want overall physical and mental health. So, here we will discuss that how exercise improves brain functioning and helps us to remain active all the day.
How Exercise Improves Brain Functioning
During the exercise, our heart rate increases so as blood flow increases. And with the increase of blood flow the oxygen level of body and brain also increases. Brain gets nourishing proteins with proper flow of blood.
Brain is made of soft tissue, which includes grey and white matter, neuron cells, non-neuron cells and blood vessels. They have high water content as well as a large amount (nearly 60%) of fat.
What are Neurons, and why they are important? Neurons are specialized to carry ”messages” through an electrochemical process. The human brain has approximately 86 billion neurons. Number of neurons is directly proportional to brain health. Individual neuron health defines the overall brain health.
Ways to grow Neurons
There are many ways to grow new neurons (brain cells), here are some of them:
- Do Exercise
- Eat/Drink Antioxidants (e.g. Blueberries)
- Eat Omega -3 fatty acids
- Indulge in dark chocolate
So, ultimately we can say that by doing exercise and improving our diet are the two ways to improve functioning of the brain.
HEALTHY MIND IN A HEALTHY BODY
General Benefits of Exercise to Body and Brain
Exercise is a powerful medicine. It is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. From children to elder everyone must some physical activity at least four days a week. There are many reasons which will motivate you to do some exercise.
Improve Mental Health and Mood
During exercise our body releases chemicals known as dopamine and endorphins. These are the chemicals which makes us happier, better & relaxed.
Reduce stress and depression
Exercise helps us to reduce the risk of depression and reduces the mind stress. It helps to get rid of chemicals that make you feel stressed and anxious.
Helps to control weight
Exercise plays an important role in controlling our body weight along with diet and reduces obesity. By doing exercise we can get the body shape as we want.
Reduce the risk of heart diseases
As exercise increases the heart rate it improves the blood circulation. It ultimately strengthens our heart and increases its efficiency. It also helps to reduce the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, coronary artery diseases and heart attack.
Strengthen bones and muscles
By doing muscle strengthening exercise we can increase/ decrease our muscle mass, maintain and tone them properly. It also helps in strengthening bones and bone density.
Improve quality of sleep
By doing the regular exercise we can feel the difference of quality of sleep. The one who exercise regularly has better quality sleep, fall asleep faster. He will have better and deepen sleep which is important for a proper repair of cells and hence get better and faster growth.
Regular physical activity boosts our memory as brain get lots of oxygen and energy. It increases the ability to learn faster and learning new things. But there are many exercises which are especially for brain to increase its power, efficiency and memory as well.
- Play games (Video games, Chess, Sudoku and so on…)
- Meditation and Yoga
After considering all the benefits of Exercise, lets dive into some exercises that you can add to your daily routine to enjoy all the above benefits. I am classifying exercises into three parts by their impact/purpose.
Three Types of Exercises
These types of exercises increase the heart rate and increase the body oxygen level. These exercises are repetitive and rhythmic. They are also called ‘Aerobic exercises’
Aerobic exercises includes:
- Jump rope
- Split jumps
These types of exercises help to build and maintain muscles in the body. These exercises are important for maintaining mass throughout our lifetime. They are useful for building body and toning our muscles. These exercises are also called resistance exercises.
Resistance exercises includes:
- Bench Press
- Dead lift
- Biceps curl
These exercises are useful for lengthening our muscles which helps us to become more limber. These exercises are beneficial for enhancing our muscle flexibility. It also reduces muscle tension and improves the blood circulation.
Stretching exercises includes:
- Hamstring Stretch
- Arm & Wrist Stretch
- Shoulder Stretch
- Seated Spinal Twist
- Child Pose
- Butterfly Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Tree Pose
- Side lunge Stretch
- Calf Stretch
Bonus Advice to Fit Exercise in Your Schedule
In a very busy schedule it is not easy to get time to workout. As health is important so we have to manage our schedule and get some time to exercise. As an advice; we can keep two time spots in a day for our exercise. It could be a spot in morning and one in the evening.
In the morning, exercises related to brain and stretching exercises could be performed to elevate your whole day experience. In the evening, aerobics and strengthening exercises are good to keep you in shape and enhance your sleep quality.