Daily Exercise for Improved Cognitive Functions

Improved physical health is an obvious benefit to daily exercise. We’ve been told that over and over again from our first elementary school P.E. teacher to our family doctor, every time we walk in for our annual checkup. But how many of us are aware of the abundant mental and emotional benefits of daily exercise?

Mental health, and the need to prioritize it as a vital aspect of our overall well-being has been a hot topic over the past several years. It has come to light that one in five Canadian adults will suffer a mental illness in their lifetime. That is a huge statistic and one that can be reduced by incorporating simple exercises like jogging, cycling or Yoga into your daily routine.

Improved memory and cognitive awareness along with a reduced risk for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease are a few recorded outcomes of leading a more active lifestyle. This is attributed to a heightened BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in the system of those who actively participate in a daily exercise routine. As an added bonus, being more physically fit has also been associated with having more neuronal fiber integrity in the brain. Being healthy makes you smarter!

In terms of emotional health, regular exercise is a proven treatment for depression. This works on a couple of levels. First off, being in better physical health leads to a more desirable physical appearance, which acts as a mood booster in itself. Exercise also leads to the release of a wide-spectrum of hormones and neurotransmitters that make us feel good. Endorphins do not only suppress pain, but they also have sedative properties to calm our emotional state.

On top of all the exercise-induced endorphins coursing through our body, exercise releases neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids. These act as our brain’s reward system, decreasing depression, tension, and overall negative moods. You’ve heard of the “runner’s high”? It’s a real thing!

When it comes down to it, those who are able to think more clearly and who have a more positive outlook achieve more in their day to day lives. Enforcing a more active routine in your daily schedule, one that includes exercise at any level has benefits that touch every part of your system. Feel free to ask us about ways that you can get started on building a healthier lifestyle at Full Force Fitness today!

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