StayAhead Fitness

Movement helps the brain

As we age, movement naturally gets more difficult. Understanding that simple fact is important. If we embrace reality rather than deny it, we can take appropriate action. 

When movement becomes a little harder, you find ways to do it that works for your particular needs. It’s that important. But why is movement so important? We know movement helps our muscles, bones, and joints, as well as blood flow, and energy. Movement helps us in other ways…

What does research tell us about the relationship between movement and the brain? We used to think that the health benefits of exercise were limited to the body. Recent research has shown, however, that regular physical activity actually augments brain function. Movement supplies brain cells with oxygen, promotes the production of new brain cells, and aids in creating new synapses.

“Movement triggers the release of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor known as BDNF (Kesslak, Patrick, So, Cotman, & Gomez-Pinilla, 1998). This natural substance enhances cognition by boosting a neuron’s ability to communicate with other neurons. Movement also increases energy, reduces stress, and calms the mind and body. Research shows that exercise may stimulate the production of brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which energize and elevate mood (Chaouloff, 1989). In addition, studies link movement to better memory and reduced likelihood of depression (Kempermann, 2002).”

Pretty cool! Let’s keep moving to take care of our brains.



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