Work Out Serves to Help Your Brain
There are lots of different reasons why we get our kids involved in youth sports. Maybe we are trying to encourage them to get involved with a good group of friends so we can steer them away from other influences we hope they’ll avoid. Here’s the thing: there are some other compelling reasons for why exercise is a good choice for our lives.
Sure, there are certainly physical benefits to working out: you look better, you’re stronger, you feel better, you sleep better. The benefits of exercise actually occur inside your body, too, and the research in this regard is pretty fascinating. Dr. John Ratey, a teacher at Harvard Medical School and a practicing psychiatrist with private practices in both Massachusetts and California, has dedicated much of his professional life to studying how movement and exercise benefit our brains. Heis a hard-working advocate for being active because there’s lots of data that proves that exercise is a crucial component of overall health. In a lecture given in 2014, Dr. Ratey discussed the following aspects:
There’s no question about it. Physical activity lights up your brain. The more you move, the better you think. Studies have proven that your brain, after exercise, is more active than when your body is in a sedentary state. And one other thing that research certifies? Kids’ test scores are better as a result of physical activity.
Exercise is also a beneficial way to cope with depression. Studies have affirmed that exercise has similar results on the body as antidepressant drugs. So, if you’re feeling discouraged and life has you down, it really is a smart idea to get outside for some fresh air and move your body.
There’s something about exercising that helps you with stress management. If you are active, fit, and care for your body, it actually takes more stress to get a result from you than it does for a person who isn’t active. … want to handle life better and be able to deal with everything that’s thrown at you with more ease? Exercise just may be the answer you’re searching for, and it doesn’t cost you a cent to head out your front door and go for a brisk walk.
Additionally, nothing is as effective as exercise in encouraging the production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in our bodies. At a basic level, this is what that means: when you exercise, you engage lots of brain cells, and that cell activity contributes to the production of BDNF which, in turn, helps maintain your current brain cells and acts as a catalyst for neurogenesis.
And whether you have an hour to exercise or a mere 15 minutes a couple of times during your day, it doesn’t really matter. The significant thing is to move and get your heart rate up.In fact, you can get the same effects by spending less time and doing high-interval training as you do when you exercise for extended time periods without those high-interval bursts. So, if you don’t have time to do a lot, get out for the time you can and make it count! You’ll feel better, inside and out, and it turns out you’ll be smarter, too.
Next time you’re thinking about enrolling your kids in a team sport of some kind, you’re really doing them a favor for many reasons. They’ll feel better, be smarter, be better able to take care of stress, have natural anti-depressants working to stabilize their moods, and they’ll be establishing new brain cells as well! And when you need to have a way to get your kid’s team from Point A to Point B, we are the folks to call. Team transportation is the name of our game!
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