GNcareers, from Gulf News

Get moving for a healthier brain

Get moving for a healthier brainImage Credit: Supplied

Weight loss and muscle toning are not the only benefits of exercise; mental well-being and improved brain function are, too.

When you exercise, your heart rate increases, pumping more blood, oxygen and glucose to your brain. The more oxygen your muscles receive, the better they work; and your brain is no different. It is simple: increased blood flow equals improved cognitive performance.

During a workout, your body also releases a range of hormones which makes you feel refreshed and alert. Epinephrine, which increases awareness and perception and improves the ability to concentrate, is one of these hormones. Accompanying it are many others which aid in forming a nourishing environment for the growth, repair and rejuvenation of brain cells. Also released are endorphins which quash the stress hormone cortisol, and which explains why you feel less wound-up after a workout, and in a much better frame of mind for work.

Exercise also enhances the levels of testosterone and estrogen in the body, which are very important for the function of the frontal cortex, the part of the brain where most of the rational thoughts, strategizing and decision-making occurs.

Less time spent stressing or guzzling caffeine and more time pumping iron or pounding the pavement improve concentration levels and processing speed. So, lace up those trainers and give yourself the best opportunity to hit the ground running in both your professional and personal life.

Handy Hints:

• Exercise improves brain function, memory, etc.

• It releases endorphins that quash stress hormone

• It enhances levels of testosterone and estrogen

Source: Georgina Farrell, Special to Classifieds

The writer is a freelancer