Cardio and the Brain: A lil exercise can help make you smarter and happier!

the importance of cardio

Cardio and the Brain: A lil exercise can help make you smarter and happier!

shoesAs you probably know of course, exercise is good for ya… duh! How many times have you heard that? However, I want to talk specifically about cardiovascular exercise and how it can impact your brain.

As a matter of fact, a good cardio workout can actually make you smarter among other things. (Can you imagine if Einstein was also an athlete? Woa!)

We’ve all pretty much heard or read the obvious benefits of cardiovascular exercise. It helps you to lose weight, burn fat and make you leaner—But, it also provides your brain with the needed chemicals for problem solving, an improved memory and enhanced decision making.

Just ONE 30-minute workout pumps the required blood, oxygen and chemicals your brain needs to perform at max capacity. Something like an “11” on a scale of 1 to 10!

Also, that one 30-minute workout is equal to a cup of coffee. (Sorry, but I’ll also be having my morning cup of coffee too!)

A good, heart-pounding, sweat-inducing, must-take-a-shower-afterwards, cardiovascular workout provides your brain with an extra dose of glucose and oxygen.

As you exercise, every muscle in your body sends a hormone to the brain that mixes with brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. BDNF is responsible for mood regulation, cell growth and also impacts a person’s ability to learn.

How about nasty depression? Well, why not try a natural anti-depressant like jogging or going for a simple walk? It’s funny how you never see commercials that say, “Depressed? Well just go jog or walk for 20 to 30 minutes!—Symptoms may include, nothing!”

So yes, it’s true, intense cardio and/or exercise helps alleviate depression. This is because during exercise, endorphins are released into the bloodstream. This is the chemical that is believed to also be responsible for a condition known as “runner’s high”.

Other chemicals released during exercise are serotonin, which is an excellent mood enhancer, dopamine, which can greatly impact learning and norepinephrine which impacts things like arousal, motivation, attention and perception.

Just think, all of these mood-boosting, mind-altering chemicals can be yours legally and free of charge.—And they make you feel great.

Studies have shown that exercise directly impacts brain health and brain capacity. Some studies have even shown productivity increases by as much as almost 25% for those who exercise during their work day as compared to those that do not exercise during their work day.

Now, if you are sitting there thinking, oh but I’ve never been one to exercise or I’m too old, I’m too out of shape, I’m too—whatever! Stop making excuses and make that first step, literally! You’ll be glad you did.

Start slow and remember that just a simple little walk can make all of the difference in your day. Start with just 10 minutes if you need to and work your way up to 15, 20 and then 30. Track your results and enjoy the benefits of cardiovascular exercise.

Remember, walking requires no gym membership and can be done virtually anywhere. Just think of all the health benefits you can be enjoying.

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