Did​ ​you​ ​know​ ​that​ ​exercise​ ​is​ ​important​ ​for​ ​more​ ​than​ ​just​ ​physical​ ​reasons?​ ​Exercising​ ​plays​ ​a significant​ ​role​ ​in​ ​maintaining​ ​brain​ ​health​ ​by​ ​helping​ ​your​ ​brain​ ​remain​ ​sharp.​ ​Similar​ ​to​ ​how the​ ​muscles​ ​in​ ​your​ ​body​ ​function,​ ​if​ ​you​ ​don’t​ ​use​ ​your​ ​brain​ ​power,​ ​you​ ​will​ ​begin​ ​to​ ​lose​ ​it. This​ ​is​ ​why​ ​it​ ​is​ ​so​ ​important​ ​to​ ​stress​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​of​ ​brain​ ​health.​ ​If​ ​you​ ​are​ ​wondering​ ​how physical​ ​exercise​ ​contributes​ ​to​ ​your​ ​mental​ ​state, there​ ​are​ ​numerous​ ​reasons.

Increases​ ​Heart​ ​Rate

Physical​ ​activity​ ​increases​ ​your​ ​heart​ ​rate,​ ​which​ ​isn’t only​ ​good​ ​for​ ​your​ ​heart​ ​but​ ​your​ ​brain​ ​as​ ​well.​ ​This is​ ​because​ ​the​ ​more​ ​your​ ​heart​ ​pumps,​ ​the​ ​more oxygen​ ​there​ ​will​ ​be​ ​going​ ​to​ ​your​ ​brain.​ ​Increasing your​ ​heart​ ​rate​ ​also​ ​helps​ ​release​ ​hormones,​ ​which assist​ ​in creating​ ​a friendly environment​ ​that​ ​promotes​ ​the​ ​growth​ ​of​ ​brain​ ​cells.

Stimulates​ ​Brain​ ​Plasticity

Brain​ ​plasticity,​ ​or​ ​neuroplasticity,​ ​refers​ ​to​ ​your​ ​brain’s ability​ ​to​ ​change​ ​over​ ​time.​ ​Brain​ ​plasticity​ ​is​ ​vital because​ ​it​ ​is​ ​required​ ​throughout​ ​adulthood​ ​for​ ​whenever​ ​something​ ​new​ ​is​ ​learned.​ ​Exercise plays​ ​an​ ​important​ ​role​ ​here​ ​because​ ​physical​ ​activity​ ​stimulates​ ​brain​ ​plasticity,​ ​which promotes​ ​the​ ​development​ ​of​ ​new​ ​connections​ ​between​ ​cells.​ ​Exercise​ ​boosts​ ​growth​ ​factors​ ​in the​ ​brain,​ ​which​ ​makes​ ​it​ ​easier​ ​for​ ​the​ ​brain​ ​to​ ​generate​ ​the​ ​connections​ ​required​ ​for expanding​ ​your​ ​mind​ ​through​ ​learning​ ​new​ ​things!

Positively​ ​Impacts​ ​Mental​ ​Health

From​ ​a​ ​mental​ ​health​ ​perspective,​ ​physical​ ​exercise​ ​is wonderful!​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​I​ ​am​ ​sure​ ​you​ ​are​ ​familiar​ ​or
understand​ ​the​ ​idea​ ​of​ ​a​ ​“runner’s​ ​high,”​ ​which​ ​is where​ ​an​ ​exercise​ ​routine​ ​boosts​ ​a​ ​person’s​ ​mood. This​ ​occurs​ ​because​ ​physical​ ​activity​ ​causes​ ​a​ ​drop​ ​in stress​ ​hormones,​ ​which​ ​creates​ ​the​ ​same​ ​effect​ ​as​ ​an
antidepressant.​ ​This​ ​antidepressant​ ​like​ ​effect​ ​isn’t only​ ​beneficial​ ​for​ ​your​ ​mood.​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​lowering​ ​stress hormones​ ​has​ ​also​ ​been​ ​associated​ ​with​ ​stimulating cell​ ​growth​ ​in​ ​an​ ​area​ ​of​ ​the​ ​brain​ ​that​ ​contributes​ ​to​ ​both​ ​memory​ ​and​ ​retention.

As​ ​you​ ​can​ ​see,​ ​there​ ​are​ ​many​ ​reasons​ ​why​ ​exercise​ ​is​ ​beneficial​ ​to​ ​brain​ ​health​ ​so​ ​now​ ​comes the​ ​question​ ​of​​ ​what​ ​type​ ​of​ ​exercise​ ​is​ ​best​ ​for​ ​maintaining​ ​brain​ ​health​?​ ​The​ ​answer​ ​is​ ​really anything​ ​because​ ​any​ ​type​ ​of​ ​activity​ ​that​ ​is​ ​good​ ​for your​ ​heart,​ ​will​ ​be​ ​good​ ​for​ ​your​ ​brain.​ ​However,​ ​there are​ ​some​ ​exercises​ ​that​ ​are​ ​known​ ​to​ ​work​ ​wonders​ ​for increasing​ ​cognitive​ ​function.​ ​These​ ​exercises​ ​include activities​ ​that​ ​require​ ​both​ ​physical​ ​and​ ​mental function.​ ​For​ ​instance,​ ​dance​ ​classes​ ​are​ ​highly recommended​ ​for​ ​brain​ ​health​ ​because​ ​they​ ​require both​ ​physical​ ​and​ ​mental​ ​agility​ ​because​ ​participants must​ ​physically​ ​complete​ ​moves​ ​while​ ​remembering what​ ​those​ ​moves​ ​are.​ ​Dance​ ​classes​ ​like​ ​Zumba,​ ​also promote​ ​coordination​ ​and​ ​rhythm,​ ​which​ ​integrate various​ ​parts​ ​of​ ​the​ ​brain.

A​ ​perfect​ ​example​ ​to​ ​demonstrate​ ​how​ ​physical​ ​exercise​ ​directly​ ​impacts​ ​brain​ ​health​ ​is​ ​to​ ​do this​ ​small​ ​experiment.​ ​The​ ​next​ ​time​ ​you​ ​experience​ ​brain​ ​fog​ ​or​ ​hit​ ​a​ ​wall​ ​while​ ​at​ ​work,​ ​get​ ​up from​ ​your​ ​desk​ ​and​ ​jump​ ​around​ ​or​ ​do​ ​a​ ​few​ ​jumping​ ​jacks.​ ​You​ ​will​ ​shortly​ ​realize​ ​that​ ​after doing​ ​this​ ​physical​ ​activity,​ ​you​ ​feel​ ​more​ ​energized,​ ​alert​ ​and​ ​able​ ​to​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​the​ ​task​ ​at​ ​hand.

Promoting​ ​brain​ ​health​ ​is​ ​just​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​many​ ​reasons​ ​why​ ​you​ ​should​ ​be​ ​participating​ ​in​ ​a regular​ ​exercise​ ​routine.​ ​If​ ​you​ ​live​ ​in​ ​or​ ​around​ ​Petaluma,​ ​California,​ ​and​ ​are​ ​having​ ​trouble getting​ ​motivated​ ​or​ ​are​ ​unsure​ ​about​ ​where​ ​to​ ​start​ ​with​ ​an​ ​exercise​ ​routine,​ ​​The​ ​Redwood Club​​ ​is​ ​here​ ​to​ ​help!