Exercise and Get Smarter!

Many of you know that I am a professor at UNSW Sydney. Many of you also know that I’m an Ironman tri-athlete. I finished Ironman race 3 times in the past 5 years. As a scientist, I’m always amazed how human body works and how amazing we can use our body to achieve seemingly impossible goals. While I coach my clients, health is a common goal of people and exercise is an essential tool to improve health.

I published a few blog posts about brain and performance before. Now the new brain science can tell you why exercise is good for you. I came across this article @ Neurosciencenews.com (via this link). It explains how regular exercise can profoundly impact our brain and nervous system. Here is an excerpt from that article:

Summary: The neuroscience of fitness explores how regular exercise profoundly impacts our brain and nervous system.

Exercise stimulates neurogenesis – the creation of new neurons – primarily in the hippocampus, influencing memory and learning while increasing key mood-regulating neurotransmitters. It also enhances brain plasticity, essential for recovery from injury and aging, and improves cognitive functions such as attention and memory.

Despite ongoing research, the current evidence underscores the powerful role of physical activity in promoting brain health and cognitive function, emphasizing the importance of integrating regular exercise into our lifestyles. (Source from: Neurosciencenews.com)

Key Facts:

  1. Aerobic Exercise and Brain Volume: Regular aerobic exercise like running can increase the size of the hippocampus and preserve vital brain matter, improving spatial memory and cognitive function.
  2. Exercise and Sleep Quality: Regular physical activity can enhance sleep quality, which in turn supports memory consolidation and toxin removal in the brain.
  3. Exercise and Stress Reduction: Exercise can help manage stress by increasing norepinephrine and endorphin levels, chemicals that moderate the brain’s response to stress and induce feelings of happiness. (Source from: Neurosciencenews.com)

(Sources: Neurosciencenews.com)

Dr. C. Richard Wu @ REEAConsulting.com

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