Exercise doesn’t just make you look better and control your weight; it’s also good for your brain and lowers your risk of some diseases.
We’re not talking about brain exercises like Soduku or crossword puzzles. We mean heart-pumping physical exercise. While that run around the track, stint on the treadmill or killer kickboxing class is boosting your heart rate, it’s also firing up your cognitive abilities.
In a study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, middle-aged monkeys ran on a treadmill for one hour each day, five days a week for five months, which is the optimal exercise regimen recommended for improving fitness in middle-aged people. During the fifth week of exercise, monkeys completed cognitive tests and were twice as fast as those who didn’t exercise. They were also more alert and engaged.
But you don’t need a monkey to tell you that physical exercise increases blood flow to your brain. This blood delivers nutrients and oxygen, which may be why cognitive function increases. Plus, being more alert and engaged increases your ability to learn.
Previous studies have shown that people who exercise learn faster, think clearer and bounce back more easily from brain injuries such as stroke. The mild stress caused by exercise triggers the brain to protect against neuron damage, which may explain why exercisers’ brains recover better from brain injuries.
Aerobic exercise such as running or jogging also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and ability to learn. In addition, exercise reduces the level of the cortisol hormone, which is associated with stress.
On the flip side, lack of physical activity is linked to more colon cancer cases than any other risk factor. Turn this around by getting physically active and you’ll be 30 to 40 percent less likely to get colon cancer than sedentary people.
Power Up Your Brain and Body
If you’re ready to get moving to boost your brain power, fuel up with Reliv’s ProVantage® and Innergize!®. ProVantage provides a balance of nutrients formulated to improve performance, endurance, recovery and repair. Meanwhile, the patented formula in Innergize! contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, chromium, zinc and carbohydrates to provide added energy, promote oxygen absorption and boost the immune system.
All systems go!