Sunday, 21 March 2010

Exercise the body for better mental performance

Most of us know that physical exercise is good for our general health, but did you know that physical exercise is also good for your brain?

There is a symbiotic relation between body & brain. Althouth the brain controls the body movements, the body in turn nourishes it.

If the body is sluggish, the mind also becomes dull.

If you've been sitting aroung & not getting new ideas- get up & walk- you will feel refreshed & also get new ideas.

Working out with an aerobic exercise routine will benefit not just your body but also your mind. Research shows that high-intensity cardiovascular exercise boosts mental performance and can even reverse age-related losses of brain mass and mental function.

However, prolonged & very intensive ( eg powerlifting) workouts also exhaust the brain chemical reserves.

If your heart rate is elevated and you're panting, that's a good sign that you're exerting yourself and training your body to have increased aerobic capacity. The key thing that seems to trigger changes in the brain structure and chemistry is blood flow. The more dramatic the increase in blood flow to the brain, the more dramatic the likely mental health benefits will be.

Movement and exercise increase breathing and heart rate so that more blood flows to the brain, enhancing energy production and waste removal.

Running's brain-boosting effects were in the hippocampus, a region of the brain linked to learning and memory and known to be affected by Alzheimer's disease.

So are you going to choose skipping rope, cycling, stairs or plain running?

Low muscle tone (sluggish body) leads to depressed thourhts & low mood. However, over-excited body, highly strung & tense muscles lead to anxiety and neurosis. A balance is achieved by regular & varied exercise for toned-up muscles that is optimal for mental function.

In nutshell, get your daily dose of about 20 minutes of intensive aerobic exercise for a peak mental performance. 

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