Exercise is not only good for your bones and muscles, but it is also an important part of keeping your brain healthy too.
Exercise Boosts Your Mood and Reduces Stress
When you are done with your workout you always feel so good and energized right? That is because your body is releasing endorphins in your brain that make you feel happy! Your brain is giving you feel-good chemicals and getting rid of all the chemicals that make you feel stressed and anxious.
When you are exercising your heart rate and blood flow increases making your brain exposed to more oxygen and nutrients. You also experience socio-emotional changes, which affect your sleep and mood. Your cognitive functions including memory, attention, and decision making are also affected when you exercise.
Here are Some Surprising Ways Exercise Changes Your Brain
Connect with Others
Many people use exercise as an opportunity to connect with other people, which can strengthen relationships. Having support and feeling loved by close friends or loved ones can boost your overall mood.
Build Trust and Belonging
Group classes are one of the most powerful ways to experience joy. The more you get your heart rate up the closer you feel to the people you are with and adding music can enhance the effect as well.
Trying a New Activity
Physical accomplishments change how you think about yourself and what you are capable of. It is important to not be too hard on yourself because when you start to say things like “I am too old” or “too weak” your brain encodes everything. Start saying things like “I am strong” and “I am graceful.” This will transform your self-image!
Just like we wouldn’t skip the gym for 3 months and think we would retain our strength, we should not neglect our brain exercises. 🤔
They can help to increase focus, concentration, and memory. Improving those skills help us to be more present in day-to-day activities.
While it doesn’t appear that brain games can prevent age-related cognitive decline and dementia, growing research indicates that they may slow or delay them.
Make sure you exercise both sides of your brain. Our brain works as a whole but there are certain activities that activate one side more than the other.
3 Ways to Activate the Left Side of Your Brain
There are so many different puzzles to choose from. Whether it be sudoku or solving a mystery, puzzles are a great activity to work on your logical thinking.
The left side of our brain is associated with language which makes learning a new language the perfect way to stimulate this side of the brain. Not only is learning a new language great for your brain, it’s useful in real life!
This can be as simple as grabbing your journal and jotting down your thoughts. If you want it to be more structured, create a story and bring it to life on the page! This will help you organize your thoughts and work on grammar.
3 Ways to Activate the Right Side of Your Brain
You may have heard that right-brained people are the “creatives.” While research has debunked the brain dominant theory, there are ways to nourish your creative side which stimulates the right side of the brain. You can be creative by painting or learning to play a new musical instrument!
Our interpersonal relationships have a major impact on our overall health. Building and nurturing our relationships allow us to express our emotions and keep our brain active.
Intuition and creativity are both important for the right side of our brain. Practicing meditation allows you to open up and relax, making it easy for thoughts to flow through you.
No matter what it is you do, the key to a healthy brain is lifelong learning. What is your favorite way to work out your brain?
– Emily E.