The benefits of exercise on the brain
As we grow older, the rate of new cells in the brain slows down and the brain tissue shrinks. And exercise may reverse this trend. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise improves the blood vessels of middle-aged people and can reduce the impact of aging on them. Aerobic exercise promotes blood flow to the brain, bringing more oxygen to the brain(The brain needs to absorb 20% of the body's oxygen).
Improving the build-up of brain hormone levels
Just like fertilizers can make plants grow faster and better, a chemical called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) can promote the growth and proliferation of brain cells. Especially for the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory, and memory is the most susceptible to age-related degradation. The more you exercise, the more beneficial factors you produce.
Fighting off depression and anxiety
Depression can weaken the brain's ability to process information, making it harder to concentrate and make decisions, and lead to memory problems. If it is severe depression, of course, medication is needed. Exercise can improve your mood if the depression is less severe. Because exercise can promote the body to synthesize serotonin and dopamine, these are the brain chemicals that determine happy mood. Exercise can improve endorphins, a chemical that makes you happy.
"Stress hormones" - cortisol can cause brain aging. Thinking about slowing down and forgetting is caused by stress.Exercise lowers cortisol levels and helps restore clarity. Exercise is also thought to help generate new nerve cells in the dentate gyrus of the brain. This dentate gyrus is part of the hippocampus, which is involved in the formation of new memories. Brain cells in this area are depleted by stress.
Increasing sensitivity to insulin
When you eat, the body converts most of the food into glucose or blood sugar. This is the main source of energy for the brain. In order for it to get into cells, the glucose needs to be accompanied by the hormone insulin. However, some people's cells are resistant to insulin, and regular exercise can reverse this resistance to insulin. In fact, insulin sensitivity improved at least 16 hours after an exercise session, and postprandial blood sugar levels stabilized. The better the blood sugar is controlled, the better it can fight age-related cognitive decline.