Scientists have been linking exercise to brain health for many years now, highlighting the importance of an active lifestyle. Dr Amen, physician, brain imaging expert and 10 time New York bestselling author states:
Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) works actively on neurons in the hippocampus and other areas of the brain, encouraging neuron connections and preserves the survival of existing cells, and what encourages BDNF....exercise. Incorporating some form of cardiovascular exercise, intensity exercise (3-4 minutes of fast exercise) yoga and strength exercises several times a week can promote healthier brain function.
- Improves circulation, especially oxygen to the brain
- Allows for transportation of nutrients to the brain and nerves
- Greater grey matter volume in the hippocampus associated with memory
- Normalises insulin resistance and helps with blood sugar control
- Increased pre-frontal cortex to do with 'reasoning and assessing' situations
- Boosts feel good hormone and neurotransmitters associated with mood control
- Reduces stress and related low moods
- Decline in brain shrinkage
- Boosts creativity
- Helps with co-ordination and balance
There have been many studies conducted highlighting the benefits of exercise on brain health.
Mentally challenging activities, learning new skills, or adopting a new hobby has benefits to brain health. The size and structure of neurons and the connections between them actually change as you learn. Why not try these into your daily plan:
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Brain teasers
- Board games
- Logic puzzles
The brain is stimulated by music, playing listening or singing. There are numerous studies highlighting the effects on memory recall.