It’s a fact that regular physical activity can help you become more active, feel better and improve your health in many ways. Some studies even suggest that physical activity can help improve memory and other cognitive functions in Golden-age adults. If you want to know how physical activity improves brain health in the golden years of adults, read on to find out the details of this exciting new development!
Exercise has been found to increase neurogenesis or brain cell growth. According to research, regular exercise can reduce the risk of cognitive decline by 50%. Regular exercise is also associated with increased blood flow and higher levels of nerve growth factors and neurotrophins. Just like muscles, our brains require regular physical activity to stay healthy and function properly. As we age, neurons begin to slow down and can no longer fire at total capacity; however, exercise helps counteract these effects of aging.
Mental stimulation is a huge part of keeping our brains healthy. As we age, it’s important to continue finding new and exciting activities to keep our minds engaged and active. Whether learning a new language or taking up an instrument, these mental challenges can help slow cognitive decline as we age. Exercise provides a boost of mental stimulation that benefits memory, focus, and cognition over time. Exercise has been shown to positively impact regions of your brain involved with attention and processing information, including areas connected with problem-solving.
Help for Depression and Anxiety
Regular aerobic exercise has been linked to lower levels of anxiety and depression among Golden-age adults. A major study conducted by Kaiser Permanente found that individuals who engaged in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week had fewer symptoms of depression than those who were not active. The study also showed that people who worked out vigorously had more benefits than those who engaged in less intense activity. Other research has shown that some aerobic exercises can produce similar results when taken as a supplement to therapy for people with mild to moderate depression.
Exercise can act as a form of stress relief for older adults, helping them feel less burdened. This stress relief can improve sleep quality, which is linked to decreased risk of cognitive decline.
Improved Memory and Learning Capacity
Exercise increases blood flow throughout your body. In your brain, it boosts cerebral blood flow by 30-40%! Exercise also stimulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that supports neuronal health and helps protect against age-related declines in memory and other cognitive functions. As you exercise more regularly, these benefits accumulate over time – essentially, you get sharper with exercise!
Increased Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
Being physically active helps you feel good about yourself. Feeling good about yourself will then help build your self-esteem and self-confidence. Self-esteem and self-confidence are important for a positive outlook on life. People with a healthy sense of them often find it easier to make decisions, take calculated risks, and bounce back from failure or disappointments.