Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Mental Health

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Mental Health

“You’re working out your brain at the same time you are working your heart,” says Thomas Cook, Ph.D. a clinical psychologist and memory researcher. Cardiovascular health is more important than any other factor in preserving and improving learning and memory,

People who exercised during their working day were 23 per cent more productive on those days than they were when they didn’t exercise, says a study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

In one study, researchers scanned the brains of people who exercised for one hour per day, three days a week, for six months. They discovered an increase in the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory and learning. Working out literally made the participants’ brains larger and allowed them to do things better that required concentration and recall.

“Exercise improves attention, memory, accuracy and how quickly you process information, all of which helps you make smarter decisions,” Says Charles H. Hillman, Ph. D., an associate professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois. All that extra blood bathes your brain cells in oxygen and glucose, which they need to function. The more they get the better they perform.

A workout acts like a cup of coffee. Your heartbeat picks up, your circulation increases, your energy swells, and your thinking becomes clearer and sharper.