Our brains have been highly underrated in the benefits it offers. Recent studies have shown that we have more control than previously thought in rewiring our own brains. Most, if not all, people know that exercise improves our heart and body health. Now it has been discovered that exercise improves our cognitive abilities, decreases anxiety, improves memory, and so much more. Dr. Ratey, clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, explains, “When we exercise…we’re also exercising the areas of the brain involved in the full suite of cognitive functions.” In other words, movement promotes the growth of new cells and balances neurotransmitters in the brain. This activity increases learning capabilities, the capacity to focus, self-control, and it even tempers attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Since movement stimulates new cell growth (neurogenesis) and the expansion of cellular connections (neuroplasticity), we can use exercise as a tool to address problems that may be impeding our ability to live our best life. In one particular study, a group of sedentary people between the ages of sixty to seventy-nine exercised 3 times a week over a period of six months. At the end of the experiment, the group was shown to have an increase in brain volume concluding that cell growth occurred, ultimately “reversing cell deterioration that is associated with aging,” as Dr. Ratey described. Exercise is not only medicinal, but it is also essential for optimum living. So get moving, the quality of your life depends on it.
For further study, I highly recommend Dr. John Ratey’s book SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.
Alice is an Educator, Coach, Speaker and Author. She loves teaching women how to create peaceful lives through purpose & productivity.