Positive Effects of Exercise on the Brain. How exercise, nutrition and sleep improve cognitive function and memory.

Enhance the health of your brain with exercise, good nutrition and quality sleep. Nourish the brain with regular exercise and proper nutrition to improve and maintain cognitive function. Use exercise, nutrition and sleep as catalysts to stay mentally sharp throughout life.

The human brain is an intricate structure being continually researched. New findings occur on a regular basis. The brain is the most complex of all human organs.

The brain is the command center of the nervous system and controls almost all of the body’s functions. Scientific findings continue to indicate that the human brain is a physiological wonder which constantly remolds and grows when new stimuli are applied. The potential of the human brain is vast.

Exercise: The benefits of physical activity are numerous. Keeping the brain healthy is one of the greatest products of consistent exercise.

The brain requires consistent oxygen and nutrients for optimal function. Feed your brain a steady stream of oxygenated blood and health-producing nutrients with physical exercise.

Researchers have proven exercise increases memory, attention, organization abilities and planning skills. Mood enrichment and alleviation of depression are well documented benefits of exercise. Physical activity is a form of self-treatment for many disorders that can potentially damage the brain.

Recent finding demonstrate that physical activity increases children’s scores on academic tests. Other studies establish that exercise assists in the prevention of age-related memory decline and neurodegeneration.

Aerobic exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, including the brain. The increased amount of oxygenated blood to the brain results in better nourished brain cell and improved function. Healthier brain tissue increases cognitive function.

Hormones and important brain chemicals are produced during exercise. Exercise stimulates the production of the protein Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, BDNF, which triggers brain cells to growth, interconnect and communicate. BDNF acts as a catalyst for brain health.

BDNK triggers numerous brain chemicals that promote brain tissue health. BDNK improves neuroplasticity, which is growth or positive changes in neuropathways and synapses. 

Research findings demonstrate that exercise directly stimulates the production of new brain cells. The dentate gyrus, a section of the brain chiefly involved in learning and memory, benefits a great deal from exercised-induced new cell formation.

Children: Exercise plays a major role in childhood brain development and growth. Recent studies reveal school children score higher on standardized tests after participating in moderate exercise as compared to being tested following twenty minutes of inactivity. 

Cardiovascular activity yields the best results for increasing elementary school student’s academic test scores. Running, sprinting, jumping, swimming and playground activity increase brain power in children. Combine activities that demand focus and concentration such as juggling, tumbling and gymnastics with aerobic exercise for best results.

Research demonstrates that students who score higher on physical tests score higher on academic achievement tests. These results occurred regardless of gender, race or family income. Research proves fitness of the body is connected to a healthy brain.

Seniors: Older brains benefit a great deal from exercise. Movement keeps the heart pumping oxygenated blood to the brain. Physical activity not only prevents brain atrophy, it promotes brain growth.

Researchers discovered that physical exercise is more important than mental exercise for thwarting age-related brain symptoms. Seniors who walked an average of thirty to forty-five minutes three days a week for one year showed a two percent increase in the volume of their hippocampus. A region of the brain important in memory.

Children and seniors generally prefer group exercise activities. Training with others increases fun and makes the training less work-like. Social activity combined with physical exercise increases the effectiveness of their positive impact on brain health.

Exercise produces a healthy brain at all ages. Movement increases concentration, mood and thought clarity. Utilize cardiovascular training to improve brain health.

Nourish your brain with fresh oxygen and nutrients. Stimulate the brain to grow with creative and challenging forms of exercise. Incorporate hand eye coordination exercises and motions that require concentration for optimum results.

Combine exercise with nutrition and rest for even greater results. The long standing cumulative effect of consistent exercise, proper nutrition and sleep build a healthier brain. The brain performs countless functions and requires a steady supply of energy through dietary sources.

Nutrition: Feed your brain properly to enhance your health. Consume an array of omega-3 fatty acids, low-glycemic index foods and proteins from quality sources. Avoid simple sugars, hydrogenated fats and high-glycemic index foods.

Fats: Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are nicknamed “smart fats.” Foods containing docosahexaenoic, or DHA, are extremely beneficial for brain health. Utilize the two “F’s” fish and flax. Ocean caught salmon, sardines and albacore tuna are high quality sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seed oil supplies the brain with omega-3’s fatty acids.

Avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats. These fats, nicknamed factory fats and dumb fats, possess tightly packed molecules which slow blood flow to the brain. 

Protein: The brain requires protein for development and growth. Seafood, eggs and lean meats provide the brain with amino acids that develop neurotransmitters. Well feed neurotransmitters function at a high efficiency rate to keep the brain sharp.

Game meats and organic meats should be your first choice over domestic animal and non-organic meats. Consume wild caught fish over farmed fish. Domestic meats have higher level of adipose fat than game meats. Adipose fat slows down blood supply to the brain.

Carbohydrates: Consume low-glycemic index foods to supply the brain a consistent energy source. Eat a variety of low-glycemic index foods throughout the day to maintain a steady blood sugar level. Numerous healthy foods possess a low glycemic index. Cherries, soybeans and oatmeal are a few examples.

Reduce your intake of high-glycemic index foods. Candy, sweets and packaged sugar are high-glycemic index foods that produce a quick rise and drop in blood sugar. The unhealthy spike in fuel to the brain leads to fatigue and lack of focus.

Processed Foods: Decrease your ingestion of processed foods. Highly processed foods are filled with unhealthy chemical additives, including hormones, steroids and pesticides. Many medical experts theorize that these chemicals are the source of numerous medical conditions.

Choose lesser processed foods to develop and maintain the health of your brain. Combine good nutrition strategies with quality sleeping habits for optimum brain function.

Sleep: A good night’s sleep works wonders for the brain. Rest recharges the brain. People suffering from sleep debt experience “brain fog,” fatigue and inability to concentrate.

Develop consistent sleep patterns for best results. Develop a routine that works for you and stick with it. Use a quality mattress and pillow that are appropriate for your frame.

Discipline yourself to go to bed at a consistent time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. After an initial adjustment period the results will show. Keep the TV off and the room dark while sleeping.

Merge exercise, nutrition and sleep strategies to increase the health of your brain. Train consistently and correctly to increase blood flow to your brain. Eat high quality foods on a regular basis to supply your brain proper nourishment. Sleep good to refresh the brain for the new day. Utilize the health and fitness strategies in this article to improve and maintain cognitive function and memory throughout life.

Dr Donald A Ozello DC of Championship Chiropractic in Las Vegas, NV

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“Running: Maximize Performance & Minimize Injuries” https://www.amazon.com/Running-Performance-Chiropractors-Minimizing-Potential/dp/1493618741

**Disclaimer: Always consult a medical professional before beginning an exercise program. Always work within your capabilities. Never perform an exercise that elicits or increases pain or symptoms. Reading this article and viewing the linked videos does not take the place of seeing a medical professional. Please visit a medical professional for evaluation, diagnosis & treatment.

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