Exercise And Yoga For Enhanced Brain Health

Hitting the gym or practicing yoga not only helps you chase your fitness goals, but gives you an additional brain-boost, too!

In addition to scaling back your stress and anxiety levels, increased physical activity also aids in promoting the production of new cells and neural connections in the areas of the brain responsible for learning, memory, problem solving, and creativity.

Here are some amazing benefits that exercise and yoga can offer to improve the functioning of your brain.

Your Brain Needs You To Visit The Gym More Often

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Exercise aids release of a neuron forming protein – BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), optimal levels of which, slows down brain atrophy and delays cognitive decline. Workouts increase new brain cell production and your resilience to stress by stimulating release of endorphins like serotinin and dopamine. It improves overall calmness and mental clarity.

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Why Does Your Brain Love It When You Dance?

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Dance needs anticipation to meet the upcoming beat, creating a euphoric anticipation-reward-surprise pattern. When you dance you are in an altered state of consciousness, in the present moment. The rhythmic movement of different body parts is indicative of a sound, well-developed mind. Sustained training in dance or other arts improves cognition greatly.

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Its About The Brain, Not The Butt

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You should exercise mainly for the health benefits rather than for being skinny or chasing a dress size. Your mind forces you to quit when your workout regimen becomes a punishment. Exercise helps you in neurogenesis, boosting natural ‘feel good’ hormones, creativity, reducing stress and in establishing new connections between brain cells.

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Weightlifting Can Build Both Your Muscles And Brain

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Strength training and weightlifting helps improve your memory, slows the onset of dementia, and strengthens the

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heart – increasing blood flow to the brain and improving cognitive function. In younger adults, even 20-min training can boost long term memory. Even in older adults, a brief workout improves memory due to release of stress hormone norepinephrine.

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Exercising In Middle Age Reduces Brain Shrinkage In Later Years

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A study, conducted over a 20 year period on 1500 middle-aged people, suggests that as people age, brains of those with sedentary lifestyles tend to shrink more than those with active lifestyles. Existing heart and blood pressure problems increase the risks further. By increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain, exercising helps prevent cognitive decline in the long term.

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Can Meditation Reduce Stress And Improve Brain Function?

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Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and relax your body. This stress relieving property of meditation positively affects the brain’s

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cognitive function. Studies have shown that meditation is associated with decreased stress, depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia and improves the overall quality of life.

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Does Yoga And Meditation Improve Your Brain Power?

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Here is a simple technique known as – ‘Awareness Reflection Technique’ which if practiced daily for a few months will help you improve your memory, make you calm, teach you to become objective and sharpen your brain. However, ensure that you do this technique daily, at the same time everyday!

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Beneficial Role Of Yoga For Brain And Immune System

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Yoga practices include strengthening routines called asanas, breathing techniques called pranayamas, cleansing routines called kriyas, calming meditation routines, a yogic diet and lifestyle. Living the Yoga life reduces inflammation and supports immune system functioning. It also helps boost brain function and reduce stress, a root cause of chronic diseases.

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How Does Yoga Keep Brain Healthy?

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Yoga can boost memory because it improves blood flow to the brain and helps in making it work better. Hence, yoga and similar practices can be very helpful in staving off diseases like Alzheimer’s and other mental disorders. Dharana, otherwise known as the practice of concentration in the yoga-meditation world is the perfect way to clear your mind and calm your senses.

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Meditation Can Help Improve Brain Health

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A researcher in the Department of Neurology at the University Of California (ULCA), studied for evidence using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, that meditation changes the physical structure of the brain. According to his observation, many differences were found between the brains of meditators and non-meditators. The meditators’ brain showed an increased gray matter than the non-meditators which should make them better at controlling their

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attention, managing their emotions, and making mindful choices.

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