Sports is life – this is what we all learn since childhood. It makes our bodies stronger and our lives healthier, so a decent amount of physical activity is essential for everyone. But what if we tell you that it can also boost your brain capacity?
Exercise helps our brains in many ways, including improved activity and blood flow. It also increases noradrenaline levels, boosting our memory and attention span. Engaging in various sports, such as running, biking, and skiing can improve our mental health, while a simple warmup in the morning can even prevent dementia if turned into a routine. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits and welcome physical activity into our lives as soon as possible!
1 – Exercise improves blood flow to the brain.
Exercise improves executive functions and the structure of white matter in the brain. This helps brain cells communicate with each other, which helps maintain cognitive function. In addition, better blood flow may help prevent the buildup of plaques associated with dementia.
Scientists have discovered that aerobic exercise boosts blood flow to the brain. It allows it to receive more nutrients and oxygen. Interestingly, regular exercise also promotes the production of the VEGF and IGF-1 hormones. These hormones play a crucial role in angiogenesis or developing new blood vessels. The greater the density of these blood vessels, the more effective blood flow to the brain and the better worker, learner, or essay writer you become.
2 – It increases various hormone production.
Exercise increases noradrenaline levels in human organisms. This chemical is released during vigorous activities, such as running or cycling.
Research has shown that physical activity can help people with depression and anxiety. It improves mood, lowers stress levels, and improves cognitive function. Some of these benefits may be attributed to the increased production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
3 – Your memory will improve, too.
Various studies have shown that exercise improves memory performance. Among the different memory paradigms studied, acute exercise improved free recall, visual short-term, and sequenced memory. Moreover, exercise is known to boost the production of specific proteins, such as N-Methyl-D-aspartate, which strengthens neural networks.
Regular physical activity helps the brain develop long-term memory. It also promotes the development of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and synaptogenesis, two processes that mediate memorization and learning, making it especially important for young students.
4 – Exercise improves attention span.
The benefits of physical activity are well-documented, and researchers have found that exercising can improve attention spans and focus. It improves our brain’s ability to process information and boosts our mood. Furthermore, higher physical activity has been linked to greater amounts of grey matter in the brain, which is responsible for sensory processing and muscle control. Teens who participate in physical activity improve their attention spans and concentration skills; a similar effect is noted among adults.
Physical activity increases the release of neurotransmitters, which are important for regulating attention. A study performed by Medina et al. found that 20 minutes of moderate exercise improved the attention spans of children with ADHD. These children, including those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, showed increased attention spans when physically active. They also improved their scores on an academic achievement test.
5 – Being physically active reduces the risk of dementia.
A growing body of research suggests that exercise can help reduce the risk of dementia, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers examined 17 studies that involved participants in middle age and older and found that those who exercised regularly reduced their risk of cognitive problems later in life. They also found that exercise was associated with better cognitive scores compared to sedentary controls, but only if performed constantly and according to a person’s needs.
As we can see, being active while young can be a good investment in our elderly years, as a healthier body makes life more enjoyable. So what are you waiting for? Why not begin your active life today and take up sports to your taste? With all the benefits mentioned above, you will only thank yourself for choosing this path. Good luck with it!