Physical Activity & Brain Health

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Physical Activity & Brain Health

While many of us recognise the benefits of exercise for our bodies, the impact it has on brain health is often overlooked. However, exercise can significantly boost brain function in several ways:

1. Exercise enhances cognitive abilities:

  • Regular physical activity improves various cognitive processes, including organisation, concentration, memory, and problem-solving.
  • Even brief sessions of moderate-intensity exercise, such as a brisk walk for 10 to 20 minutes, can enhance clarity of thought and focus.
  • Studies indicate that individuals who engage in frequent exercise tend to perform better on cognitive tasks and exhibit better self-regulation in habits like diet and social media use.

2. Exercise improves memory:

  • Exercise has a positive impact on memory and learning, crucial for everyday activities, academic performance, and professional success.
  • The hippocampus, a key brain region responsible for memory, may benefit from exercise. High-intensity activities like running can promote the growth and health of the hippocampus, as well as strengthen connections between brain cells, leading to improvements in learning and memory.

3. Exercise reduces the risk of brain-related diseases:

  • As we age, the risk of brain-related conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease increases.
  • Regular physical activity can mitigate this risk by addressing factors like obesity and high blood pressure, which are associated with these diseases.
  • Research suggests that engaging in physical activity can lower the likelihood of developing a brain-related illness by approximately 20–30%.

By incorporating exercise into your routine, you not only promote physical fitness but also support cognitive function and reduce the risk of debilitating brain diseases, contributing to overall brain health and well-being.