Exercise for your brain!

April 4, 2016

By Bodyfit NT Exercise Physiologist Rebecca King

Since Brain Awareness Week (14th– 20th March), we’ve been keeping up to date with ESSA (Exercise & Sports Science Australia) and their Exercise Right movement on ways to help Australian’s get their sneakers out of the wardrobe and keep their grey matter healthy!

It is well understood that engaging in regular exercise provides significant health benefits. Physical activity contributes to the prevention and management of many chronic conditions, in addition to reduced risk of premature death (Warburton, Nicol & Bredin, 2006). However, the benefits of exercise may run a lot deeper than you may initially think.

5 Reasons to think about exercise for the brain

  • It can help fight anxiety and depression (enough said!)
  • It can reduce your brain shrinking
  • It can help build your brain and make you smarter
  • It can protect your brain in the long run

Shockingly over 60% of Australian adults carry out less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day and only one in three children undertake the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity during the day.

Tips for Choosing the Right Physical Exercise for Your Brain

  • In general, any exercise that is good for your heart and body is great for your brain.
  • Aerobic exercise is great for body and brain, not only does it improve brain function, but it also acts as a “first aid kit” on damaged brain cells.
  • Exercising in the morning before going to work not only spikes brain activity and prepares you for mental stresses for the rest of the day, but also produces increases retention of new information, and better reaction to complex situations.
  • When looking to change up your work out, look for an activity that incorporates coordination along with cardiovascular exercise, such as a dance class or sport.
  • If you like time at the gym alone, opt for circuit work outs, which both quickly spike your heart rate, but also constantly redirect your attention.
  • If you do have any concerns about your health or live with a condition contact your local accredited exercise physiologist.

For more great tips, check out the Exercise Right website!