Exercise is not only the best way to be in great physical shape, but is also a fantastic addition to your routine when it comes to mental health and brain function.
While all forms of exercise are good for cognitive health, certain types of exercise trigger different areas of the brain and have different positive impacts.
These three exercises will help boost the brain quickly.
A 2017 study published in Fronteirs in Human Neuroscience found that dancing increased activity in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that assists with learning, memory and emotion.
The deterioration of the hippocampus is often associated with mental issues in the elderly, so exercising the hippocampus is linked to improved brain function later in life as well.
The study found dancing to be more effective than resistance and weights training when it came to improved brain function.
Aerobic exercise has been shown to lower the body’s level of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, and is the best type of exercise for boosting endorphins. This means reduced stress and decreased chances of depression and anxiety.
This study published by Harvard Medical School activated the hippocampus, improved mood and sleep patterns, and reduced stress and anxiety.
Anything as small as a 20-minute walk will have good benefits for your mental health, but ideally you want the heart rate to be elevated for 30-60 minutes, so consider going for a jog or hitting up a step class or a HIIT class.
Yoga, Tai Chi and other meditative physical exercises are a sure-fire way to improve cognitive function.
These practices improve focus and concentration skills as well as assisting with relaxation and de-cluttering an overworked mind.
A study from Massachusetts General Hospital also showed that meditation literally increases your brain size, with participants in the study who practiced meditation having thicker cortical walls than those who didn’t.
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