We all know exercise is good for our heart, promotes weight loss, improves our mood, overall well-being, better muscle tone, balanced blood sugar (and much more), but did you know that exercise can also raise your I.Q.? Yes it does. In fact, a fitter you is equal to a fitter brain.
Any type of exercise, particularly aerobic activity has a beneficial impact on your ability to process and retain information. The good news is that you don’t need to run a marathon to achieve markedly improved brain health – no matter what your age. Research now shows that brain and cognitive health can benefit from even very modest amounts of exercise and physical activity.
Exercise Promotes Better Brain Health
Healthy blood flow means a healthier brain. Have you ever felt better after a walk? Research shows that exercise markedly promotes healthy blood flow that
A special hormone is triggered. The hormone Irisin is triggered when we exercise. Researchers at Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School have isolated a specific hormone, Irisin, released during exercise that improves cognition and protects the brain against degeneration. Irisin’s neuroprotective properties are what researchers believe is the main factor responsible for essentially making you smarter. By the way, Irisin has another beneficial role and that is its unique ability to take the white jiggly fat you may see and feel on your body and transform it
Exercise Helps Prevent Brain Shrinkage
Exercising increases the size of an area of the brain called the Hippocampus that is critical for learning and memory. This area is highly active when working out, thereby enhancing mental activity. Research also shows exercises such as jogging, walking or dancing may also help to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia that show brain shrinkage. It is estimated that approximately 10% of adults over the age of 65 years have some form of cognitive impairment. Studies also show that the exercise duration of just 40 minutes a few times a week had significant benefit. One study showed that mice (who run naturally) that ran 3 miles each night, doubled the size of their hippocampus over a period of time.