How Physical Fitness & Activity Aid Brain Function

Physical fitness activity is the ability in which your body can handle everyday tasks at varying difficulty levels. Exercise contributes to weight loss and weight management, which is good for your heart and your cardiovascular system. It generally keeps you fit, healthier, boosts brain function, and improves your mood and general well-being.

Exercise is a significant element of good health to all categories of people, whether slim or fat, young or old. It has a variant of benefits which includes, improving your brain ability, sleeping better, improving your immune system and lowering your risk of cancer, diabetes and many other diseases. Exercises that leads to mental stimulation improves brain function. But thinking too hard stimulates the neurons of your brain to function more intensely, which then leads to a buildup of toxic waste products that affects your thinking. By exercising, you increase the rate of blood flow through your brain, moving these waste products faster.

Blood Pressure

Regular exercise helps reduce high blood pressure, which when it is too high, can damage brain cells. Infact exercise is one of the treatment methods used to manage high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a very dangerous condition, which greatly increases the possibility of getting a stroke.

Blood Supply to the Brain

Exercise  makes the heart muscles stronger, which makes it to be more effective at pumping blood to the entire body, and therefore increasing the blood supply in the brain.  This has the effect of improving metabolism, nutrient delivery and waste removal from critical regions that effect mental function. This also delivers more oxygen to your brain, helping you think more clearly, focus better and be more alert.

Nerve Growth Factors

Exercise causes a rise in several growth factors in the brain that are responsible for helping brain cells survive and divide into new brain cells called neurons (nerve cells), which transmits signal to and from the brain. The brain has 10 billion nerve cells called neurons. When you exercise, more synapses form and the active brain gets stronger. More synapses in your brain increases communication between nerve cells, which is good for your memory and learning capability.

Exercise increases the level of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. These brain chemicals contributes to maintaining alertness, boots your moods and improves your memory.

Effects On Stress

Exercise reduces the depressing effects of prolonged stress, which can damage the brain. It also lowers the level of adrenal hormones that your body releases by in response to stress. It not only improves your health and reduces stress caused by unfitness, it also relaxes tense muscles and helps you to sleep.

Exercise also releases greater amounts of chemicals called endorphins into your blood stream. An endorphin is a powerful chemical that relieves pain and gives you a confident  sense of well-being. Depressed people lack this type of neurochemical.

Exercise protects the brain from aging and injury. Older people that regularly exercise, perform better in cognitive functions and have lower rates of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. They also recuperate stronger from strokes and from inadvertent brain injury. In short, the brain is more responsive in people who are more active in terms of physical fitness.


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