You may have heard that physical exercise boosts body mobility, strengthens muscles, enhances longevity, and even makes someone happier. If you somehow committed to physical exercise before, you might experience these benefits. But can physical activities help you when brain fog comes? Could it help to strengthen your brain in general?
The brain is your most complicated organ, and your mind has the most complex function. Moreover, the brain is a biological organ like the heart and lungs. Hence, like most organs, your brain is not immune to illness.
One of the illnesses that are widely known is Alzheimer’s Disease, and the number of people living with it is growing fast. More than five million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s, and an estimated 5.8 million people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia in 2020.
Another common brain illness is migraine. It affects an estimated 12% of the US population, whereas chronic migraine affects 1% to 2% of the global population. The prevalence of migraine is enormous as it affects one in five women over three months.
Brain problems could be scary since it affects people’s way of thinking and how they make decisions in life and build relationships. Since we are familiar with the various benefits of physical activity, the question is — can physical activity help with brain problems? Well, the answer is yes!
There are a lot of physical exercises that may help people to strengthen their brain, such as swimming, running, or even dancing. However, if you never try these exercise routines before, you might find them overwhelming and confusing since you are clueless about where to start. Therefore, here are some guides to help you with these concerns.
Access your physical capacity
If you have done physical exercise before, you probably have some idea of how you usually do your physical activity. Try assessing and recording your physical activity since it may help to change exercise habits as well as enhance your conﬁdence in overcoming exercise barriers.
But if you never exercise and you have an injury or a medical condition, you need to start exercising carefully. You also may consult with professionals for assistance in creating a fitness regimen. It is particularly essential if you have an unstable health condition, such as risk factors for heart disease, respiratory adversities, or osteoporosis since it might prevent you from possible injuries.
Identify which exercise works for you
One of the most important things to remember is to choose a physical exercise that you find enjoyable. People are more likely to abandon a routine if the chosen activity does not suit their liking. Some of the questions you might ask yourself include do you like to exercise? Do you enjoy competitive sports or individual activities? Do you have any time and resources to do those activities? Is there any way you could fit the activity into your schedule? Considering the advantages and disadvantages of the activities will also help you decide which may be best for you.
Start low-impact exercises
After you try various physical exercises, find which one you enjoy the most. It is better to consider your experiences in physical exercise. If you are a beginner, the physical challenge of some activities may be too much at first. Do not beat yourself up, pick a considerate option and gradually work your way up.
You may start with low-impact exercises like bike or water exercises to decrease the risk of overusing a particular body part and getting injured. If you have done physical exercise before, trying various physical exercises helps prevent exercise boredom.
If you are having trouble maintaining an exercise routine, you are not alone. Many people have problems getting out of procrastination. While practical concerns like a super busy schedule can make exercise more challenging, the biggest adversities come from your mind.
One of the most important steps is to be aware of your intention to miss the physical exercise session. Then you may create a physical exercise plan. Keep in mind that a little exercise is better than nothing. Therefore, do not beat yourself up. Adding just fair amounts of physical exercise to your routine can have a far-reaching impact on your brain.
What exercises can you do at home?
Leaving the house and finding workout buddies is too troublesome for some people. Whether the gym is not your forte or you are busy with work, you can still do physical exercises in your room that can strengthen your mind.
Yoga is a helpful mind and physical exercise. It combines physical postures, rhythmic breathing, and meditative exercise. Since yoga has a positive effect on the function of the hippocampus, amygdala, prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex, and brain networks, it may hold promise to mitigate age-related and neurodegenerative declines. One of the good things about yoga is that it has a lot of types that you can choose from based on your preference and needs.
You can also do some Pilates movements at home. Pilates increases cognitive function since it is different from many other forms of exercise. It requires the brain to pay attention to what you are doing. It is also because Pilates improves balance, control, and muscle strength. The frontal and temporal regions are affected positively with Pilates, which results in cognition enhancement, such as attention and planning.
Due to the mind and body connection, the time spent at the gym, running or walking along the street, or maybe aggressive physical games with friends can do more than build muscle and improve body mobility. Physical activity also works well in strengthening prefrontal and hippocampal brain areas, which are responsible for cognitive processes and memory. Physical exercises are also associated with cognitive improvement and stress resilience. Therefore, physical activities not only recover or minimize cognitive deficits but also counteract brain pathology.
If you would like to build a more efficient exercise practice, the Personal Science Labs offers a wide array of resources. Based on the research of the Institute for Life Management Science, the lab produces courses, certifications, podcasts, videos, and other learning tools. Check out the Personal Science Labs today.
Photo by ArtHouse Studio on Pexels