Have you ever noticed how your mind feels after a good workout? Post-exercise, you are bound to experience more peace, clarity, and optimism. But the benefits of regular exercise go beyond a healthy body and improved mood; in any form, whether from a casual walk or an intense weight circuit, exercise can have long-term benefits on brain function. It is especially worth noting how working out impacts your brain as you age.
Typically, healthy brain function can decline at a very gradual pace as they age. In the current cultural climate, however, members of the general population are experiencing significant cognitive decline at a rapid pace. Stress, sleep deprivation, dietary choices, and sedentary lifestyles are major contributors to this decline.
Comparable to other muscles or organs in our body, lack of proper nutrition, sleep, exercise, and stimulation negatively affect the brain and create symptoms (such as brain fog, forgetfulness, memory lapses, and reduced focus) that tell you that something is wrong. Over 45 million Americans over the age of 50 are experiencing these symptoms now and are at risk for further cognitive decline if not addressed. Exercise can play a crucial role in the prevention, postponement, and repair of this cognitive decline.
How Exercise Benefits the Brain
In addition to improving your mood, regular exercise benefits your brain function in many short-term ways. It can boost your energy, focus, blood flow, quality of sleep and reduce inflammation. It can help your body eliminate stress hormones and better manage anxiety. All of these activities can perpetuate cognitive decline when they become chronic issues; due to a lack of healthy habit management from little exercise and or limited medication and supplementation.
In some cases, exercise can even increase the size of the hippocampus, which can mean better memory, learning, and emotion regulation. The hippocampus naturally shrinks as we age, but consistent activity can help slow this brain tissue loss.
When looking at the long-term benefits of exercise, studies show regular activity can increase endorphins and growth factors (proteins that promote cell growth) in the brain, leading to improved neurological connections important for memory and learning.
Research also suggests physical activity can “delay the effects of both physiological aging and pathological neurodegeneration,” such as Alzheimer’s. One of the major contributors to developing Alzheimer’s is insulin sensitivity.
The Bredesen 7
According to Dr. Bredesen, MD, author of “The End of Alzheimer’s”, exercise is one of the seven crucial categories essential for neural plasticity. The entire list, also known as “The Bredesen 7”, includes:
- Stress Management
Dr. Bredesen’s research over the past two decades has proven that there is not only a “cure” for Alzheimer’s and dementia, but that through proper nutrition and lifestyle interventions, we can almost entirely prevent the next generation from ever progressing into dementia or Alzheimer’s. “Supporting your brain–today and every day–with good habits and a smart supplementation routine can keep you mentally sharp,” he said. “No matter your family history, DNA, or previous neurological issues, there is hope.”
These seven elements come straight from Dr. Bredesen’s PRECODE (PREvention of COgnitive DEcline) method. He recommends making one small lifestyle change at a time to develop healthy habits that build upon each other.
Try incorporating some of these active habits into your day if you do not already have a good exercise routine:
- Take a walk
- Get a personal trainer
- Join a running club
- Do yoga or pilates
- Try new exercise classes
- Start an at-home workout program
Just 20-30 minutes of daily activity can create significant improvements in your brain function and slow cognitive decline.
Exercise and Supplementation
While exercise on its own can benefit your mind and its long-term health, these benefits can compound when combined with proper supplementation. Just as an athlete may take creatine or glutamine to improve physical performance, taking supplements for brain function alongside exercise can have a more serious positive impact on your brain.
When it comes to supplementation that supports exercise and overall brain function, ingredients are essential. Supplements like NeuroQ can give your brain a daily boost of focus and clarity while delivering the nutrients needed for long-term neuroprotection of healthy brain function, including memory, attention, and processing speed. These key ingredients include:
- Gotu Kola (promotes brain and nervous system health)
- Ginkgo Leaf Extract (supports healthy blood flow to the brain)
- Phosphatidylserine (supports brain function by maintaining healthy cell membranes)
- Coffee Fruit Extract (boosts nerve transmission)
- Yamada Bee Farm Propolis (sustains the development of nerve tissue)
By fueling your brain with NeuroQ, you can expect to feel more clarity, energy, and overall well-being as you pursue other healthy daily habits.
Is it Time to Evaluate Your Cognitive Health?
Should you be uncertain about the status of your cognitive health or curious about the healthy habits your brain would benefit from most, you can take NeuroQ’s free cognition evaluation. The first-ever cognitive assessment of its kind, and it only takes 15 minutes. The test will evaluate five things:
- Composite memory
- Verbal memory
- Visual memory
- Executive function
- Processing speed
The more knowledge you have about your current cognitive health, the greater your awareness will be for long-term care. Regular physical activity is one of the most effective steps you can take to support optimal brain function. Take the NeuroQ quiz and learn how it can have a beneficial, positive change in your cognitive health.