Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain. In fact, 30 minutes of brisk walking a day on most days of the week has been shown to have benefits for your brain and overall health.
Here are 5 reasons why exercise benefits your brain:
- Helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by clearing away metabolic waste products, which build up in the brain over time as people age
- Stimulates new neuron development by releasing BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), which encourages neural connections to form, and more synapses to be formed
- Increases blood flow in certain parts of the brain such as the hippocampus, where neural connections are made that are associated with memory
- Improved emotional regulation and impulse control, as serotonin is released in the prefrontal cortex of the brain
- Increases circulation, which helps keep your brain active
Brisk walking is at a pace where you can talk but not sing. It is at least 3 miles an hour. It doesn’t require any special equipment or clothing – just lace up your shoes and go. Find a time that fits naturally into your schedule. You can even try setting an alarm on your phone as a reminder to take a 3-minute “brain break” every hour.
Your brain, like your muscles, needs regular exercise to stay fit and function well.