Exercise to Stay Smart

There are many benefits to incorporating an exercise program into your daily routine. From lowering your chance of heart disease to reducing your risk of high blood pressure, exercise has proven to have a positive impact on one’s health. But here’s another benefit that maybe you didn’t think of: brain function.

Right now students at colleges and universities across the country are entering their exam periods. Studies have shown that children who are physically active score better on exams, all other variables equal. Exercise protects the brain’s memory and thinking abilities and can also reduce stress reduction.

Exercise pumps blood and glucose to the brain at a fast rate, which improves functionality and focus. Also, regular exercise promotes the growth of new brain cells, which can improve memory and learning ability. Conversely, studies have shown that low blood flow ages the brain, which can result in diminished brain function, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The great thing about exercising for your brain is that you don’t need to run a marathon or lift weights for hours to make progress. A quick ride on a stationary bike or 25 minutes of brisk walking will oxygenate brain cells effectively.

Studies also show that a strenuous workout acts like caffeine: Your heartbeat picks up, your circulation increases, you’re filled with energy, and your thinking becomes clearer and sharper.

Make sure you get some exercise this holiday season — your brain will thank you.

In the comments, tell us how you keep your brain sharp with exercise, and be sure to see EmblemHealth’s workout guide below.

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