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Can exercise really help with your brain health and cognition??

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

We have heard many times that exercise is good for your health, physically and mentally. That is a very well-known fact. However, how does it help with your brain health?


I have grown up with people telling me that crosswords and puzzles are good for the brain, (which I believe is still the case). There is now more and more increasing evidence that exercise can have a profound effect on your brain health and cognition.

So, for this reason over the summer, I completed a CPD course for my professional development on brain health, cognition and exercise. I would like to share with you a few things I have learnt.


The whole course started off explaining in detail that there are THREE pillars of exercise for brain health.

1. Motor Skills Training (this just means movement and the accuracy of it)

2. Resistance Training (using weights during exercise)

3. Cardio vascular Training (walking, running or any exercise that gets your heart rate up)





These might seem like very obvious pillars and you may think that this is what is often recommended. However, I am looking at exercise for brain health and cognition and not just overall health. For example: did you realise that the brain cannot function without glucose? You may know this but, it also needs just as much oxygen, if not more, to function optimally.


So, if you exercise and get that heart rate up, you will increase the amount of oxygen to the brain. We now see a strong link between how the heart functions and the amount of cardio you do, to how much memory loss you experience. We could go far as saying it could reduce dementia.


This is a large statement, but think about it. How much more alert and focused do you feel post exercise? I certainly do. It really is as simple as giving the brain more oxygen and increasing the blood flow so, the brain has good vascular health.


Exercise at any age will increase your cognitive function and improve brain health. These are amazing results to get just by moving regularly. This also goes to show that exercise is a very powerful tool at your disposal that brings so many health benefits.


As you can probably see I have so much to tell you about this topic. I will do another blog on the types of exercise you should do, not just to get a workout, but how you can challenge your brain health too.


Till next time, if you have any questions please get in touch on www.1ststeprfs.com


Kam


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