A high-intensity class is the only time you ever feel like you’re sweating buckets. But it turns out there’s a scientific reason for that. That’s because sweating is one of the best ways to keep your brain young and healthy.
When you sweat more, you’re forcing your body to produce more endorphins, which are natural painkillers that also have other positive effects on the brain.
A high-intensity workout session can cause an increase in endorphin levels by up to 400 percent!
Higher intensity exercise has been shown to improve memory, concentration and response times faster than milder workouts. Keep reading for more details about how exercise can keep your brain younger for longer.
What’s the Link Between Exercise and Brain Health?
Exercise is crucial for keeping your brain healthy and functioning at its best. It can improve your mood and make you less susceptible to depression and anxiety by increasing your levels of serotonin – the neurotransmitter that helps you feel happy.
Beyond mood benefits, exercise is great for your brain for three reasons: Physical activity increases the amount of blood flowing to your brain – providing more energy to fuel your mental processes.
It also increases the number of connections between brain cells. Those connections are what allow your brain cells to process information and form memories.
Exercise also reduces the number of harmful chemicals in your brain, such as the protein beta-amyloid. Too much of this substance can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease – one of the most important reasons why you should exercise regularly.
Running to Keep Your Brain Young
Running is one of the best exercises you can do to keep your brain young. You’ll increase oxygen to your brain and throw off beta-amyloid proteins that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
To make the most of your running session, it’s important to keep a steady pace. A faster pace is harder for your body to sustain and can lead to early burn-out.
Running is also a great way to de-stress. Exercise releases endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals in your brain that can help you feel more relaxed. It’s important to listen to your body when running.
If you’re feeling too much pain or discomfort, you are probably overstretching yourself. Overtraining can lead to injury and will not be as effective at keeping your brain healthy.
Build More Grey Matter with Weights
Weightlifting is another great way to keep your brain young. Exercises that involve stretching and contracting your muscles are the best ways to increase blood flow to your brain and improve your brain function – as long as you don’t overdo it.
Exercises, where you lift heavy weights, have been shown to increase grey matter in the brain, which is crucial for cognitive health and for forming memories.
Exercises that involve rotating and twisting your body can also be very good for the brain. Working different parts of the body helps make sure that all the muscles are being used and that the brain can access all the different areas.
There’s no one perfect weightlifting routine that’s guaranteed to keep your brain young. Instead, you should vary the types of exercises you do each week to keep your muscles challenged and your brain working to its full potential.
Increase BDNF to Grow New Brain Cells
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein that’s essential for the health of your brain cells. It’s also been shown to encourage the growth of new brain cells and enhance your ability to learn.
To get more of this protein in your system, you can increase your intake of certain amino acids – the building blocks of protein.
Amino acids are usually found in abundance in meats and eggs, but you can also get them from other protein-rich foods like legumes, seeds, and nuts.
There are also some herbs and spices that have been shown to increase your levels of BDNF. These include turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon.
A Small Dose of Adrenaline Keeps Your Brain Sharp
One of the best ways to keep your brain young is to increase your levels of adrenaline. This “fight or flight” hormone helps you stay alert and focused when you need it most. It also helps your brain release more dopamine, which makes you feel more motivated.
A great way to increase your adrenaline is through interval training. This involves alternating higher-intensity bursts with lower-intensity bursts to keep your heart rate elevated throughout the whole workout.
Interval training has been shown to improve cognitive function, including attention span, reaction time, and problem-solving skills.
Exercise is crucial for keeping your brain healthy and young. This can be achieved in many different ways, from running to lifting weights.
Beyond keeping your brain healthy, exercise is also a great way to relieve stress and stay motivated.
So what are you waiting for? Put on your running shoes and let your brain grow younger!
Feel free to stretch, lift some weights, and push your body to the limit in a high-intensity class to boost your mood and keep your brain young.