Studies have shown that putting your muscles to work is not only good for them and your spine but also your brain. Research and observations on people who sought the services of a chiropractor continue to indicate that exercise is an excellent food for the brain. Below are four of the top benefits.
1. Encourages the Growth of Brain Cells
Until 1999, it was believed and taught that the brain is completely developed at birth. Therefore, it could not grow new cells. Breakthrough research by the Salk Institute debunked this myth by proving the possibility of neurogenesis (growth of new brain cells) even in adults.
As with every cell growth, protein and oxygen are necessary. Aerobic exercise helps in supplying these to the brain as it raises the heart rate, increasing the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. It also stimulates the production of the brain protein Noggin, which is responsible for the initiation of neurogenesis.
2. Growth of the Hippocampus
Physical activity has proven to be efficient in stress and depression management. It is certainly not because it relaxes the muscles. The leading cause of depression is the suppression of cell proliferation in the hippocampus. Exercise increases cell growth in this part of the brain. It also improves the ability of a person to distinguish between real and perceived causes of stress.
Furthermore, the hippocampus is also responsible for learning and memory. It can, therefore, help to prolong the onset of dementia.
3. Survival of Neurons
In addition to helping develop neurons, exercise also helps them survive. It has been observed that exercise increases the production of neurotrophins. They are proteins that aid in the development, plasticity, and survival of neurons.
One of the outward benefits of exercise is that it improves moods. It achieves this by stimulating the production of serotonin and norepinephrine. These two are essential neurotransmitters in the brain. They also help in boosting information processing.
4. Improved Concentration
A 2015 study in the Netherlands showed that interspersing lectures with 20-minute long workouts led to significant improvement of selective attention of primary school children. Those who have regular exercising routine also perform better at processing complex information, ignoring distraction, and even multi-tasking.
Does the Type of Exercise Matter?
While all forms of physical exercise are useful, they do not deliver similar results. For the best cognitive health improvement, focus on a multi-facet exercise routine. The best one should focus on aerobic fitness, balance, and flexibility. It makes yoga and Tai chi among the best for brain development.
However, running, jogging, walking, gardening, and performing household chores with some energy will deliver the same result. Any activity that exercises the muscles and makes you sweat is food for your brain. For better results, consult a chiropractor in Perth or with an expert physical trainer.