You can expand your mind in a healthy way through exercise. Stair climbing, swimming, jogging, dancing, yoga, and weight-lifting can increase your mental powers by providing increased blood flow to the brain and thereby nutrients. This helps neurons grow and repair themselves in aging minds.
Exercise-related infusions of oxygen-rich blood helps the brain operate. As it consumes a quarter of the oxygen taken in by the body, any increased flow is helpful in brain functioning.
The increased flow of blood to the brain increases glucose flow as well and also increases growth factors such as nerve growth factor and insulin-like growth factor, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor to increase. These allow the brain to increase it’s internal connectivity and plasticity – important for memory formation and retention.
Exercise increases new brain cell formation in the hippocampus, a site involved in memory formation. Lack of activity causes the brain to decline in many components, showing up as decreased density in gray matter (involved in memory) and white matter (involved in connections in the brain). Over time, with inactivity, one loses cognitive performance.
The more you exercise, the stronger and more dense the connections are within the brain. Also, there is increased immune function in the brain. The active body allows an active mind to regenerate axons when damaged, maintaining a person’s cognition. thereby preserving memory. Also, physical activity elevates one’s mood.
Side effects of exercise: blood pressure control, loss of weight, and decreased cardiovascular disease.
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