Even movie characters like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde argue that exercise can make people happy by releasing endorphins, and therefore happy people don't feel the impulse to kill anybody. This statement is actually true!
Nonetheless, there's more to regular exercise thansimply putting you in a better mood. Let's see how you can benefit from implementing a regular workout routine.
1. Better Blood Circulation
Our brain cells and our neurons need oxygen to perform at their best. It may be hard to believe, but actually the brain uses about 20% of the oxygen in your body. Exercise can help increase the blood flow, hence speeding up the oxygen delivery to all dells that need it to do their job.
There's a very simple way to help your blood flow improve, which is to walk instead of taking your car or using the public transport to commute to and from work. Even if you have a long commute, you may want to consider walking for a couple of bus stops, at least a few times a week.
2. Better And Longer Focus
Exercise stimulates the functioning of your brain, enabling you to enjoy a better focus for two or even three hours after the workout. This is the conclusion of a piece of research by Dr. John Ratey, who has published his findings in a book, together with hands-on suggestions for making the switch to a more active life.
These being said, whenever you can an important presentation to deliver at work or you need to focus on some big task, just stand up and do a few stretches. This will improve your focus right away. Furthermore, you should make yourself a habit of standing and moving away from your desk every 30 minutes or so. Do this throughout the entire work day and you're going to become more productive and more efficient.
3. Promotes Brain Cells Regeneration
Regular exercise can stimulate neurogenesis, which is the natural process of growing new neurons and brain tissue. Apparently, your brain is able to produce 700 new neurons a day. This is simply amazing!
According to a study conducted by scientists at Edinburgh University, moderate exercise like walking is more effective than solving cross words puzzles or Sudoku at preventing brain shrinkage. This is possible because exercise increases the BDNF (Brain Derived Neuro-trophic Factor) production in the brain according to Clarity Clinic.
This chemical is responsible for stimulating the development of brain cells, particularly in an area known as the hippocampus, which is responsible for your memory. The hippocampus is the first brain area attacked by age-related mental issues such as dementia and Alzheimer's.
4. Lowers Stress Levels
Exercise helps releasing chemicals in the brain that can decrease the amount of cortisol, better known as the stress hormone, which is responsible for premature the aging of your brain by killing the cells in your hippocampus.
As the hippocampus is the place where you form new memories, stress can lead to forgetfulness and to slower thinking. Exercise helps you keep your cortisol levels under control, while also increasing the capacity of your brain. This is a double gain that's very hard to ignore.
5. Alleviates Anxiety And Depression
Depression is a severe mental illness that requires professional care. Nonetheless, in less severe cases of depression, you can benefit from the endorphins produced by regular exercising. Moreover, the increased levels of serotonin and dopamine in your body will help lifting your mood.
All these can effectively fight the symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. By exercising, you'll be able to concentrate and to make faster decisions, as you won't have to put up with the nasty side effects of these medical conditions.
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