Many are keen to exercise just to have a healthy body, but they know very little about the benefits of exercise. Not only does it improve physical health, but it also reflects on mental health, according to Boldsky.
According to a study by Julia Basso and Wendy Suzuki at the Center for Neuroscience at New York University, exercise is very effective in reducing signs of severe depression, due to its positive impact on the body and because it is also known as one of the major antidepressants.
In addition, exercise helps to regulate the main hormones in the brain, which contribute to improving memory and concentration, improving cognitive functions, allowing healthy sleep, and enhancing overall brain health. It is known that, unlike other parts of the body, the brain does not have actual muscles, but it still requires exercise to continue its functions.
Thus, it would not be wrong to say that exercise is a form of treatment for many mental health problems. Here are some ways to explain how exercise affects the brain.
1- Improves mood
According to the Basso and Suzuki study, exercise causes immediate changes in the level of certain hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for improving moods and giving a feeling of happiness.
2- It improves sleep
Studies have proven that 150 minutes of weekly exercise helps a person to sleep better, by reducing stress and anxiety levels. Therefore, it is often suggested that people with insomnia enter exercise into their lives to improve the quality of their sleep.
3- Reduces stress and anxiety
Exercise helps to regulate a special kind of hormone called endocannabinoids that helps reduce anxiety and stress and gives the person a feeling of contentment, happiness, and contentment. The results of a scientific study published by the Journal of All Wiley on couples practicing sports together say they remain happier and more satisfied.
4- It protects against degenerative diseases
A joint US-Chinese study, whose results were published by the British Medical Journal BMJ, demonstrated that exercising daily reduces the risk of degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, by improving blood flow in the brain, which helps it work and grow well.
5- Improves cognition
In the same context, experiments have proven that physical exercise is a strong genetic rate that leads to functional and structural changes in the brain in order to improve the cognitive function and well-being of the person.
6- It boosts memory
According to a study by the NCBI, exercise helps stimulate the vestibular apparatus, a sensory system that contributes to movement and a sense of balance, which helps to effect brain changes such as the hippocampus and the parietal cortex that share memory.
7- Improves focus
According to a joint study by scientists from the universities of Okla and Illinois, based on experience, and conducted on people between the ages of 18 and 25, it was found that increased fitness, through exercise, is linked to more efficiency, and accuracy of rapid response behavior in a person, which contributes to improving his ability to focus.
8- Increases the size of the hippocampus
Aging reduces the size of the hippocampus and causes poor memory and dementia. Studies have shown that the sizes of the hippocampus and medial lobes are larger in adults, who exercise and participate in various physical activities.
9- Promotes creativity
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, some exercises such as aerobic dance or “aerobics” sometimes help foster creative thinking by boosting a positive mood for sports practitioners. However, there is no definitive evidence for these results and further research is needed in the future.