Did you know exercise does more than just get you physically healthy? It can also help you mentally!
Regular exercise can help your cognitive health and reduce brain fog!
WHAT IS BRAIN FOG
Brain fog is not actually one specific medical condition.
It described a group of symptoms that can make you confused, forgetful, and out of focus.
There have been different studies looking at the effects on exercise and brain function.
HOW EXERCISE INCREASES NEUROGENESIS
Naturally, as we age, our brains lose neurons and neuron regeneration slows down. These neurons are in charge of memory and cognitive ability.
Your heart rate and blood flow increase during cardiovascular exercises. This helps your body move more oxygen and nutrients to the brain which can make your brain cells healthy as well as increase neurogenesis, the name for the process of neuron formation.
Exercise also stimulates the mitochondria of the neurons and support cells in the brain to work better and repair defects. For better cognition, the mitochondria of the brain must function at optimal levels. Exercise reduces chronic inflammation in the brain and also reduces oxidative stress levels.
GRAY MATTER PROTECTION
What is gray matter? Well, gray matter contains the majority of your brain’s neural network. As we get older the brain will shrink and lose some of its volume. This plays a huge role in the decline in cognitive ability.
Researchers found that increased oxygen levels can help increase gray matter volume in a 2019 study. The study looked at oxygen levels during exercise on a stationary bike and used magnetic resonance imaging to note any changes in participants’ gray matter. They saw an increase!
WHAT ABOUT DEMENTIA?
In a different 2019 study, researchers found that exercise in older adults could delay the effects of dementia diseases. For a 20 year period, participants received physical and cognition exams.
They found that those who were physically able to move more would typically score higher on memory and thinking tests. Researchers calculated about a 31% reduction in the risk of developing dementia in connection with physical activity.
Scientists are not fully sure how physical activity and learning work together. A study combined exercise routines and math lessons together. Researchers found that students who exercised during lessons generally scored higher in tests than those who did not exercise.
Scientists believe that exercise stimulates neurons in the brain to increase visual learning.
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