Thursday, May 31, 2012

Get Moving! Get Smart!

It’s common knowledge that physical exercise is good for our general health, but did you know there's another advantage to proper exercise and nutrition? It’s good for your brain.

Aerobic exercise increases the amount of oxygen in the blood and studies on rats have shown that neurons (the brain's nerve cells responsible for communication) operate better when they get more oxygen. So, if you think you’re going to get smarter sitting in front of your computer or watching television, think again.

Movement and exercise increase breathing and heart rate so that more blood flows to the brain, enhancing energy production. In fact studies have shown that moving your body can help:
If you want to give your brain a regular boost, any kind of exercise will help.  Even mild exercise, such as a daily walk or yoga can improve your brain health.

Knowledge of the effects of exercise on the body and mind continues to grow and in doing so, it helps to guide the development of new therapies to improve our general quality of life.  There seems to be little downside to a moderate aerobic exercise program; with the approval of your health professional, of course.

References from the SIRC Collection:

1. Archer S. Youth Exercise Contributes to Cognitive Development. IDEA Fitness Journal [serial online]. February 2012;9(2):76.
2. Brisk Walking Can Rebuild Your Brain. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter [serial online]. March 2007;25(1):1-2.
3. Don't Put Off Exercise--Put Off Alzheimer's Instead. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter [serial online].
4. Kleim J. Exercise and the Brain: Exciting discoveries underscore how exercise benefits brain health and boosts lifelong learning. IDEA Fitness Journal [serial online].
Studies: Physical exercise a good warm-up for learning. Pennsylvania Journal Of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance [serial online].

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