In addition to being great for heart health and physical fitness, scientists now suggest that regular exercise can also boost brain function. Just 30 minutes of physical activity every day can have significant benefits for cognitive abilities.
Aerobic exercise gives your cardiovascular system a workout, causing your heart to pump more blood to your muscles and the other parts of your body, including the brain. Pumping more blood to the brain brings in more oxygen, which in turn creates healthier brain cells. Nourishing brain cells with more oxygen can improve cognitive function.
Exercise also helps the body produce endorphins, which, in addition to creating feelings of happiness, can also help you concentrate. Better concentration will help you block out distractions and be more productive in whatever you are doing. Being more focused can also help improve your memory. Regular exercise increases your endurance both mentally and physically. Nourishing the brain through exercise can help you stay focused longer and utilize both sides of your brain.
Endorphins released by exercise also have a pleasant, calming effect on your mind and body. Exercise is known to be a great stress reliever, and less stress means clear thinking. Easing your stress helps you prioritize what you need to get done and stay focused on each task.
By adulthood, many people lose their creativity. This is because education primarily focuses on skills that utilize the left side of the brain, which governs logic and problem solving skills. By the time most people finish school, their creative right brain skills have diminished. However, research shows that exercise stimulates both sides of the brain and can restore the right brain’s creative skills. If you’re stuck in a rut with a particular project, try going for a quick jog or bike right to jumpstart your creativity.
In addition to providing a boost to these necessary brain functions, exercise can improve happiness and overall mental health. Taking a break from daily tasks to go for a walk, ride a bike, jog, or swim can give the mind time to relax and recharge.