Why exercise might make you smarter

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See how a regular fitness routine helps stimulate the brain.

Regular exercise is vital for our heart and lung health, but did you know it also affects our brain function? Here are some of the ways regular exercise can improve your mental health:

  • By raising your heart rate, you stimulate the nervous system, making you think more clearly and concentrate.
  • After at least 10 minutes of exercise, the brain releases “feel-good” chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression while boosting wellbeing.
  • Yoga and tai chi help reduce stress, focus your thoughts and balance body and mind.
  • An increase in size and number of brain cells occurs due to circulation of oxygen and glucose to the brain. This not only protects against memory loss in older adults, but also improves memory and learning abilities in younger children.
  • Risk of Alzheimer’s disease with ageing is reduced due to the improved physical health of the brain.
  • A half hour of morning exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on information retention.