Exercise for Your Brain

There was an astonishing article in Newsweek a few weeks back that just blew my mind! Most of us know that when our hearts, legs, and lungs get pumping, we feel much better than if we did nothing. Turns out that doing 20 minutes or more of cardiovascular and/or high-paced resistance workouts affects every aspect of our lives due to the chemicals that are stimulated in the brain.

Here's the scoop: When you're forced to pull more oxygen into the body through exercise, you break what's called "the blood-brain barrier." It happens when you climb a long flight of stairs and when you're busting through any kind of workout that gets your heart pumping. This oxygen-filled blood makes its way into the temporal lobe of the brain. Chemicals and proteins are released that are like "Miracle-grow" for the brain.

Aerobic physical movement causes the release of these chemicals, and they all help you focus and give you energy when you need it. They also help you relax and rest properly. Children who play outdoors more often score better on tests than kids who don't. Regular physical activity improves memory, mood, and problem-solving abilities. Consistent exercise raises self-esteem and decreases anxiety.

If you're looking for the fountain of youth, you can find it inside your head every time you exercise for more than 20 minutes. So, get out there and get moving.

- Coach Jenn of PersonalFitCoach.com

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