The brain is the most powerful, yet least understood organ in the entire human body. It’s capable of far more than we give it credit for and there’s no telling if we’ll ever truly understand its power. What we do know is that humans would be nothing without their brain and ability to comprehend.
While the brain is considered, by some, to be the ‘crowning achievement of evolution,’ that doesn’t mean the brain comes without flaws. In fact, the brain is far from perfect and will likely endure a number of health-related and/or performance-related issues throughout your lifetime.
For example, cognitive decline is something we’ll all experience at some point in our life. This is when the health and function of the brain starts to deteriorate. It might not be noticeable at first, but the symptoms will continue to grow worse as you age, impacting your ability to live happily.
How Exercise Enhances Aging Brains
Did you know exercise improves brain health and function just as much as it improves physical health and appearance? It’s a benefit most people don’t consider when they start working out, but a benefit they quickly notice once they find a good routine – you look good, you feel good.
With that said, only about half of all US adults above the age of 18 meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity and only about 23% meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity. You’re right, that’s not enough.
It’s no coincidence that so many people suffer from severe cognitive impairment as they grow older. While it’s inevitable in everyone, those that exercise can slow the aging process down. This makes it much easier to live a happy, healthy, and rewarding life as you grow older.
In fact, exercise helps the brain in more ways than just one. Don’t worry, we’re going to share with you 10 of the most prominent ways exercise enhances aging brain health and function.
1. Exercise Reduces Stress Levels
While exercise won’t decrease the amount of stress hormones produced or released by the body, it will reduce the number of stress receptors located in the hippocampus of the brain. The stress hormones are still present, but they don’t produce as much of an impact or effect.
2. Sharpening Memory Function
Did you know exercising can improve cognitive function – including your memory and ability to think and/or learn? One reason for this is the increase in blood flow and blood circulation to the brain – which is present after exercise. It also helps release valuable proteins – which we’ll discuss below.
3. Exercise Increases BDNF Levels
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, more commonly known as BDNF, is a protein that plays an integral role in the growth, maturation, and maintenance of nerve cells. It’s commonly found in the brain and spinal cord, helping to prevent cognitive decline and preserve cognitive function.
4. Exercise Increases IGF-1 Levels
Insulin-like growth factor, more commonly abbreviated IGF-1, is a hormone found naturally in the blood. It plays a major role in regulating the secretion of human growth hormone in the pituitary gland. Together, these two hormones play a major role in growth, development, and metabolism.
5. Exercise Increases VEGF Levels
Vascular endothelial growth factor, more commonly known as VEGF, is a protein that plays a major role in the growth and development of blood vessels. In fact, it plays a role in supplying cells and tissues with oxygenated blood as a result of poor blood circulation in the body.
6. Exercise Enhances Synaptic Plasticity
Another benefit of exercise is that it increases synaptic plasticity – which plays a role in helping neurons form new connections with other neurons. This will enhance your ability to think, learn, and remember things – three cognitive functions that are known to decline as you age.
7. Exercise Reduces Inflammation in the Brain
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to an injury or infection. In moderation, inflammation is necessary. Unfortunately, some people experience an abnormal amount of inflammation, which can result in cognitive decline and dementia if present in the brain. Exercise can help reduce that inflammation.
8. Exercise Improves Mood
Not only will exercise decrease the number of stress receptors in the brain, but it’ll release endorphins – which improve your mood and make you feel good. It increases your confidence, helps you concentrate, makes you feel more alert, and reduces the chances of depression.
9. Exercise Improves Sleeping Patterns
Sleeping plays a major role in brain health, yet most people have a hard time maintaining a regular sleeping pattern. Studies suggest those that exercise regularly have an easier time falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up properly. This does a lot for your overall wellness.
10. Exercise Increases Self-Confidence
When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you look good. Exercise boosts an individual’s self-confidence, self-esteem, and overall outlook on life. It helps clear their mind, meaning they can lead their life with a clear conscience – which goes a long way in life.
Slowing Down the Natural Aging Process
The natural aging process is something we can’t run away from and hiding from it will only make it worse. Instead, we need to take the necessary steps to slow down the aging process and ensure we maintain our youth as long as physically possible – isn’t that what we all want?
In fact, the brain isn’t the only thing that falls victim to the natural aging process – it’s only the beginning. Vision, skin health, bone health, hearing, and hair health are some of the other things known to decline as we age. Of course, that also includes hormones and other chemicals.
One of those hormones that declines as we age is called human growth hormone (hGH). If you’d like to learn more about its significance in an aging body or would like to purchase some legal, high-grade growth hormone injections, don’t hesitate to contact us at HGHMeds today – we can’t wait to hear from you!