You already know that exercise is good for your body, but did you know that it’s an effective tool for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression? Research shows that physical exercise also helps to boost your mental vitality and brain function. The key thing about exercise is that it helps with the development of new nerve cells and therefore helps increases the connection between the new cells. As a result, the brain is more efficient which results in better performance.
Exercise and stress
Do you ever notice how your body feels when it’s under a lot of stress? Your muscles tense up, especially in your face, neck, and shoulders. Exercising also helps relieve the tension in your body. Due to the fact that the mind and body are so closely linked when your body feels better, your mind will naturally feel good too.
How exercising helps reduce mental stress
Exercising is not just about having a six-pack and gaining muscles. Yes, it does trim your waistline and improve your physique, but regular exercising can heave an enormous impact on your mental state People who are consistently physically active will tell you that they feel more energetic during the day and have sharper memories. In addition to that, they sleep better.
Research also shows that exercising can be a good antidepressant, the only difference is that there are no side effects. Further studies found that running for 15 minutes or walking for an hour can reduce depression by 26%. Believe it or not but the exercising promotes feelings of calmness. The exercising releases endorphins, in other words, it releases chemicals in your brains that leaves your spirits lifted and feeling good. When you’re in a bad space because of failing an exam, being overwhelmed by studies or even going through personal issues, sometimes the constant negative talk can leave you in a self-deprecating state. Exercising is a good way to interrupt this cycle and therefore serves as a good distraction.
Foods that improve brain function
As much as exercising helps with decreasing the chances of cognitive impairment, so does the food we consume. Did you know that certain foods are good for exactly that, stimulating the brain. For instance, people who focus on diets that emphasize on fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, unsaturated oils, and more plant-based food are less likely to develop cognitive impairment or loss of memory.
Although we like to eat certain food because it tastes delicious, it’s important to know that food can have a great impact on the health of our brain. For instance, oily fish, nuts and seeds are extremely good for brain health as they contain omega-3 acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are good as they help build and repair cells, and they help improve better cognition or thinking abilities.
Avocados are another healthy source of food that healthy in terms of supporting the brain. They have unsaturated fat and have a great impact on lowering the risk of cognitive decline. Peanuts, on the other hand, have key vitamins (vitamin E) and protein to keep the brain healthy and energy levels up throughout the day. Other foods that are probably always in your fridge include eggs that contain vitamin B and broccoli which contains vitamin C.
As highlighted above, reaping the benefits of exercising and eating healthy is simpler than you think. It only requires that you do basic exercises daily, inform yourself on which foods will help improve brain function so that you’re more intentional about your food choices.