5 Brain Benefits of Exercise

Young woman backpacker walking along the road to the mountain.

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:

  1. Helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by clearing away metabolic waste products, which build up in the brain over time as people age
  2. Stimulates new neuron development by releasing BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), which encourages neural connections to form, and more synapses to be formed
  3. Increases blood flow in certain parts of the brain such as the hippocampus, where neural connections are made that are associated with memory
  4. Improved emotional regulation and impulse control, as serotonin is released in the prefrontal cortex of the brain
  5. 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.