What exercise can do for your brain

There are certain truths about exercise that are becoming common knowledge in today’s world. We know that physical activity reduces your risk for all kinds of health problems, reduces the risk of dying early, and could relieve a huge financial burden on our health care system. This is true for people of all ages, and across all socio- and cultural demographics.

We also know that regular activity can improve academic achievement in kids. This is great. We all want the best for our kids. But you might not have heard that it also improves pretty much every measure of brain health in adults across all sub groups of the population.

NeuroDevNet and other leading researchers in Canada have recently discovered that physical activity is essentially snake oil (but real!) for the brain.

Six ways exercise positively affects your brain:

  1. It can help us concentrate.
  2. It can improve our mental focus.
  3. It can help us to communicate.
  4. It makes us more creative
  5. It helps us switch from task to task more easily.
  6. It also increases all the “feel-good” hormones in your body which can lead to improvements in mood. This is true for everyone but especially true for learning disabilities, young children, and older adults.

We also know that some exercise is better than none. It doesn’t have to be a lotof activity to be beneficial. Even a short walk can boost your mood and stir the creative fire! Look at the image above!

You don’t have to know much about brain science to see that as little as 20 minutes of walking can fire up your brain cells.

So next time you’re having trouble finishing a task, or see a colleague staring blankly at their computer screen, think about initiating a walk around the block. A little movement goes a long way.