The brain starts to shrink after we reach our 30s, and if you think that’s fast, it shrinks at a higher rate by the age of 60. You may feel anxious reading this, but there’s a good way to prevent your brain from interrupting your everyday life: exercise! Physical exercise is the best remedy against the harmful effects of aging, including on the brain. Read on to learn more about the relationship between exercise and the aging brain.
Improving Brain Function
Physical activity brings beneficial effects to your body, which lead to benefits for your brain as well. There are various diverse benefits that physical exercise brings to your brain. Some of these effects include:
- Stimulating the growth of new brain cells
- Reducing inflammation in the brain
- Boosting blood flow to the brain
- Increases the amount of oxygen being pumped to the brain
- Increases the growth of new blood vessels in the brain
Hence, physical exercise not only helps you to maintain your brain’s health, but it can keep your brain in great shape for the future. When you make sure to get enough exercise for both your body and brain, settling into your mature years is not as intimidating.
Protects Cognitive, Memory Function
Research has proven that exercising boosts your thinking skills, not just your muscles. It’s heavily suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger in those that exercise compared to those that don’t. Hence, a high-activity lifestyle can combat some aging-associated pains many experience, such as memory decline, forgetfulness, and the lack of organization or decision-making skills. In fact, even a single bout of exercise has been shown to lead to positive cognitive effects. Thus, it’s never too late to start to see results!
Improves Sleep Quality
Sleep allows for the rejuvenation of both your body and brain, so it’s a huge inconvenience when you can’t get proper sleep. When you reach your mature years, you may find some challenges with sleeping that you might not have experienced before. Some examples could be:
- Difficulties in falling asleep
- Shallower sleep
- Unnatural changes in sleep schedule, such as waking up earlier in the morning
- Waking up in the middle of the night
- Sleeping for fewer hours
Exercising improves the quality of your sleep, as it increases your duration of slow-wave sleep, which is the deepest stage of sleep.
Mental Health Benefits
Chronic stress can aggravate your brain further, causing it to shrink at an even higher rate. Hence, you want to make sure you don’t get stressed out in your senior years. Exercise is a great way to keep your stress down, and your “feel-good” endorphins up! To make it even better, why not bask in the afterglow of a good workout with some friends?
Exercise With Us at TerraBella Summerville
Friends who exercise together, stay together! If you’re looking for a like-minded retirement community to support each other in staying healthy and independent in your golden years, do take a look at our TerraBella Senior Living community’s senior living options.