When we think about exercise, the first thing that comes to mind is that we should exercise to look after our body. What if exercise is just as important for your brain - would you give it more commitment?
So what does exercise do for your brain? 5 reasons how it works...
- It increases your heart rate which pumps more oxygen to the brain.
- It releases many hormones which all help to provide a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.
- Exercise stimulates brain plasticity which is the growth of new connections between brain cells. In fact, running has been shown to be associated with more cell growth in the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
- Exercise can have the same antidepressant-like effects which is associated with a drop in stress hormones. Who doesn’t want to feel less stressed?
- Exercise improves the quality of your sleep.
So let's think about exercise in a different way. Exercising in the morning spikes your brain activity and prepares you for the mental stresses of the day which as a mum are plenty! That’s a really good reason to get out of the house in the morning for that walk, gym or workout session.
You may not be getting the best night's sleep with young kids but exercise helps improve your sleep. It may not be longer but it’s better quality. Another great reason to move!
Next time that inner voice says there’s not enough time to exercise or it’s too hard to get motivated, why not think about the benefits for the brain. Do you want to have a healthy switched on mind throughout the rest of your life? Maybe it will just give you that extra little boost to get active. For me, exercise is for my mental wellbeing first and it really does me cope with the day to day juggle.
Take that walk, join a class, workout with a friend or at home with an online program. Mix it up!
Exercise for your brain.