Here is a blog entry I did recently about the effects of exercise on the brain for the Ottawa Wellness Hub, a local start-up I co-founded to provide workplace wellness leveraging the top local practitioners:
We all know exercise is good for you. More and more we’re finding out, exercise has a lot more useful duties then building bigger muscles. With exercise, we have shown we can combat stress, anxiety, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, addiction and aging. Scientists also agree that if we could sell physical activity in a pill, it would cure many diseases and be a worldwide bestseller. Pretty impressive, right?
To me, some of the most impressive benefits of physical activity have to do with learning. Exercise builds and reinforces pathways in the brain, which are critical to thinking and memory. That is why your mind is clear after a long bout of exercise. It makes you wonder why they are taking out gym classes out of the curriculum in school.
And exercise has shown it builds confidence. So if you have a big test or a big presentation coming up, it would be wise to have a workout right before your event so you can be and feel your best. It will also get rid of some nervous energy and boost your morale and metabolism. And it’s also important to note it’s never too late to start. And all you need is a handful of sessions every week.
We’ve all probably heard of runner’s high, now research is looking at the actual effects of exercise on the different parts brain. It’s been shown to be as powerful as, and in some cases more so than drugs. A recent book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD, has shed a lot of light on these topics.
A lot of people get on the exercise bandwagon to lose weight. Unfortunately research is showing more and more that weight loss is strongly linked to nutrition, not the amount of exercise you do. But whatever gets you to become physically active is a-okay with me.
So just get physical and soak up all the benefits!
For more information about the Ottawa Wellness Hub or to request an information session from one of the top local experts, simply check out http://www.ottawawellnesshub.ca/!