Can Exercise Make You Smarter?

Exercise has plenty of benefits, but did you know that you can actually improve memory and thinking skills alongside torching calories during your weekly sweat sessions?

We all know that daily exercise can help improve mood, increase muscle mass and help lower cholesterol. And now we can add to that list increased brain function!

So how does it work? 

Exercise helps the brain by increasing blood flow. This in turn increases the amount of oxygen the brain gets as well as glucose. Cardiovascular exercises like running or HIIT workouts helps to pump even more oxygen and glucose to the brain. This increase is oxygen (simply put) is giving your brain increased amount of fuel. Researchers have discovered that 45 minutes to an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise is good for overall brain function to really give your brain that extra boost of oxygen and glucose.

Researchers have also discovered that the more you exercise (cardiovascularly) the more BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor you create. This is like plant food for our brains and BDNF stimulates the growth of brain cells. 

But you don't have to jump into that heart pumping cardio class to get some of the smaller benefits that exercise can provide your brain. Walking, can also help to boost memory functions.  Researchers are still exploring how exercise impacts the brain and we do know that exercise helps with the symptoms of depression, helps de-stress and can make you more focused. 

Now we have even more reasons to add moderate cardiovascular exercise into our regular workout routine. Strong bodies and strong minds!