Daily movement can have both mental and physical health benefits. Physically, regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, increase strength and flexibility, and boost energy levels. Mentally, daily movement can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, most days of the week. It's important to find an activity that you enjoy, so you'll be more likely to stick with it.
Can physical exercise improve brain function?
Exercise has been shown to improve brain function in several ways:
- Increased blood flow: Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, delivering essential nutrients and oxygen, which can improve brain function and cognition.
- Neuroplasticity: Exercise can increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that plays a key role in neuroplasticity, which is the brain's ability to change and adapt.
- Stress relief: Exercise can help reduce stress levels, which can positively impact brain function and cognitive performance.
- Improved mood: Exercise can also improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, which can help increase focus, attention, and overall brain function.
- Better sleep: Regular exercise can help improve the quality of sleep, which is important for brain function and overall health.
While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, there is ample evidence to suggest that exercise positively impacts brain function and cognitive performance.
Not ready to hit the gym yet?
There is so much you can do either at home or out in nature. Try introducing a 30-minute brisk walk into your day. Consistency is key to seeing results. Diarise it or block it in your calendar. The more you treat it as an important event, the more you’ll see the benefits. EVEN WHEN IT’S RAINING – GO OUT! I have a dog with high energy, so I have no excuse to get out even in the darkest days of winter, but I always feel better for it.
Yoga is great for improving strength and allowing the mind to relax. There are tons of videos and tutorials on YouTube and Instagram.