Exercise: Good for the Body, Great for the Brain

We all know exercise is good for the body, but the simple act of moving is incredibly good for the brain too.

Here are 5 examples which show the amazing effect that sport can have on the brain.

1. There’s a direct link

In a 12 week experiment scientists found that when their subjects jogs their brain function improved. However, when the subjects stopped jogging their brain function decreased to it’s pre-exercise state. Constant exercise is needed to stimulate the brain. Source. 

2. Aerobic exercise is better than strength training

Aerobic exercise improves the ‘executive-functioning’ of your brain. The executive-functions are the really important things like problem-solving, planning, attention and working memory. Interestingly, strength exercise alone had little effect. However when strength is combined with aerobic training the biggest improvements where found. Source. 

3. Regular exercise halves your risk of Alzheimers and Dementia

People who live an active lifestyle have a healthy brain when they get older. Active people have half the risk of Alzheimers than sedentary people. It’s even lower for dementia!  Source.

4. Exercise beats depression

Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are like your bodies very own feel-good drug. At the same time, exercise burns harmful stress chemicals. It’s a win-win! Source.

5. The brain craves exercise

Over the last 400,000 years (maybe more) humans have evolved to exercise. Source. Modern schools are not designed to meet this craving and now the Australian Government is removing sport from its national primary curriculum. Learn more here, or show your support for our cause on facebook or twitter.

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3 thoughts on “Exercise: Good for the Body, Great for the Brain

  1. Everybody knows exercise does good to our health, but sometimes it is hard to insist. I don’t know about Australians, but in my country, youngster seldom do exercise. I think it is more important to find methods to motivate people to exercise than to tell them how good exercise is. But it is hard to mobilize inactive people, I know.

  2. Great post! We agree that exercise is definitely something which needs to be more heavily considered when treating different mental health issues. Many are unaware of just how beneficial it can be to the mind, with its ability to decrease stress levels, improve sleeping patterns, etc. We talk a lot about the mental health benefits for exercise (for seniors) in our blog as well, and this is what one of our survey participants had to say about it “I feel good and happy about myself and can approach each day with confidence in my independent thinking and opinions, and mental capacity to make decisions and judgements by my own reckoning for myself. This is very important as a positive and fulfilled sense of optimism is vital to mental health.”

  3. Pingback: The story so far « Sport for Thought

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