Your Healthy Brain
Stress and anxiety issues are a serious concern for Canadians.
According to Statistics Canada, 1 in 5 Canadians will
experience mental health issues in their lifetime.
Mental health doesn't mean mental illness. In fact,
mental health is just like physical health -
we all have it.
One thing to understand about your mental
health is the important role that physical
exercise can play in it. Reduce your stress
The great thing about exercise is that it offers immediate as well as long-term benefits. Research from George Mason University in the United States shows that just one session of exercise can increase the chance of experiencing positive events and achievement throughout that day.
Another study from the US National Library of Medicine reveals how moderate exercise can improve memory and cognition. If you can think better, you're likely to achieve more and to enjoy yourself more.
Exercise and your brain
Exercise helps your memory and cognitive functions. This happens because exercise has the ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors. Exercise has a direct impact on the brain - the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.
Give it a try yourself
There are a lot of good reasons to incorporate exercise into your life, not mention how it can benefit your mental health. So why not start exercising today? If you're not exactly sure where to start, then start simple - take a walk. Literally!
There have been many studies about the positive impacts of exercise. Studies out of Harvard Medical School show that while we don't know exactly which exercise is best, walking is one that almost all of the research has looked at - with positive results.
In similar studies that showed a positive impact on memory, participants walked briskly for one hour, twice a week. Can you incorporate 120 minutes per week to moderate intensity exercise? If 120 minutes seems like it might be too much, then start with a few minutes a day. After your first week, you can increase the amount you exercise by 10 minutes. Do that until you reach the goal of 120 minutes per week.
If walking isn't your thing, consider other moderate-intensity exercises, such as swimming, stair climbing, tennis, squash, or dancing. Any kind of physical activity that gets your heart pumping is good. So head outside and start raking the lawn, or some other yard work - after all spring is on its way!