The Benefits of Moving your Body

August 23, 2023

There’s something to be said for moving your body. Forget about the intense HIIT classes and long runs which can wear down your joints. Instead, opt for gentle aerobic movement to not only improve your physical being, but to also improve and benefit your brain health. 

Think Pilates, yoga and long walks. There’s something for everyone in these types of exercises – so many movements that everyone can do, no matter how old or how many injuries we might have. Not only do they encourage a long, lean and sculpted aesthetic, but the act of aerobic exercise changes the brain in ways that protect our memory and thinking skills. 

Aerobic exercise increases the size of the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning. Movement reduces inflammation and stimulates the release of growth factors. These are chemicals in the brain that affect the health of our brain cells. Research further shows that the area of the brain that controls thinking and memory is much better in those that exercise regularly, compared to those that don’t.

So, if you’re new to exercise, start small. Walk briskly for 20 minutes each day. Climb your stairs consecutively for 5 minutes. Go swimming. And don’t forget that household activities count as well, such as mopping the floor or raking the leaves outside. Do anything that gets your heart pumping and helps you break into a light sweat. 

Whatever the exercise you choose, commit to it and establish a habit. Build it into your daily and weekly routine for better brain health in the future.