Aerobic Exercise Shown to Preserve Brain Health
By: Melissa Renee
When deciding on an exercise routine, there are many different types of cardio workouts to choose from. If you are suffering from cancer, dementia, or just want to improve overall brain health, then aerobics is a daily routine to consider. Research shows that aerobics not only significantly improves overall wellness, but also specifically targets conditions that involve brain function.
When performing aerobics exercises, the body increases heart rate and blood flow, triggering a greater amount of oxygen to be inhaled. Not only does this oxygen enter the lungs and bloodstream, but it is exposed to the brain as well. This increased exposure of oxygen to the brain is thought to be the underlying cause of why aerobics prevents and ceases the progression of brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
“We culled through all the scientific literature we could find on the subject of exercise and cognition, including animal studies and observational studies, reviewing over 1,600 papers, with 130 bearing directly on this issue. We attempted to put together a balanced view of the subject…We concluded that you can make a very compelling argument for exercise as a disease-modifying strategy to prevent dementia and mild cognitive impairment, and for favorably modifying these processes once they have developed” says J. Eric Ahlskog, M.D., Ph.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic.
A few examples of aerobics exercises are: walking, running, biking, swimming, kayaking, and other outdoor activities and sports. Swimming is an especially beneficial sport, because it requires a lot of muscle activity in locations all over the body. Adding an aerobic exercise to a daily or even weekly routine could greatly improve brain health and productivity.
Going Beyond Brain Health
In addition to improving brain health, there are numerous other potential benefits that the body experiences while performing aerobics exercises. For example, cardio exercises help strengthen the heart, increase stamina, unclog arteries, lower body fat, and also boost your immune system. Because of these numerous health benefits, aerobics (and exercise in general) also increases life expectancy. In fact, some research shows that jogging alone can extend life by up to 6 years!
If increased life expectancy and brain function is not enough motivation, then consider the fact that aerobics also allows for a more fit, healthy body. Because aerobics lowers body fat, increases metabolic activity, and causes the body to more efficiently use fats and proteins, those who perform aerobic exercises on a routine basis tend to be more trim and attractive.
Fitness, wellness, and brain function are all improved when aerobic exercises are implemented into a daily routine. Specifically, if you are suffering from an illness such as dementia, aerobics is a practical solution to prevent the condition from worsening. Aerobics does not have the harmful side-effects that are paired with most medications, but instead have other positive benefits such as weight loss and increased life expectancy. Start exercising and stop pill-popping.