Some level of brain function reduction will naturally occur as you get older.
While it is somewhat unavoidable how fast the deterioration of the brain occurs and how much can be slowed down by following the right health tips – particularly by exercising regularly.
Protecting your brain while you grow older can enable you to have longevity with better cognition.
Exercise – Improve How You Feel
As you exercise, your body and brain will naturally release some hormones and neurotransmitters. They will help you feel better and reduce anxiety and depression. Endorphins – a hormone – will also be released, which will help to reduce pain. The feeling can be expected to last a couple of hours or longer.
Increase Your Synapses
Exercise will also help your brain to create more connections – synapses – between cells. The more connections that you have, the easier it is to remember what you have learned and your ability to recall them. It will make it less likely that your precious memories are going to fade.
Reduce Effects of Diabetes
If you have diabetes, the disease will help to promote changes in your brain that are going to affect your cognitive functions. The density of your gray matter will be reduced, and your white matter will be changed.
The result is that there will be atrophy of the brain, resulting in lower levels of your mental processes. Research has shown that people that did not control their sugar levels were more likely to develop problems with learning, memory, decision-making, motor skills, and other cognitive skills.
Regular exercise can help you control diabetes. When your blood sugar levels are affected, it can change your mood from happy to depressed – or anxious. You may also have some level of mental confusion, less ability to concentrate, and it can cause behavior changes. Exercise will help to regulate your sugar levels and may even help to prevent diabetes.
Provide Nutrients to the Brain
One very important factor that will help protect your brain as you get older is to ensure that it gets a healthy amount of nutrients regularly. Exercise speeds up your heart rate, which will open up your blood vessels more and provide better circulation while you are exercising. Making sure your bloodstream has the right nutrients in it from what you eat – or avoid eating – will also help.
A Recent Study
Research into various hormones and medicines continues to learn more about the learning processes of the brain and how to keep it sharp longer. One hormone recently studied (more needs to be conducted) is called irisin. It was found to improve brain performance in mice, and it also helped mice with Alzheimer’s to get better results than mice that did not get the hormone.
Irisin is natural in the human body, and it is no different than the irisin found in mice. More of it is produced during exercise, which could be one factor why exercise helps to protect your brain from Alzheimer’s and dementia. While it does not affect the plaque that causes dementia, it reduces some inflammation in the brain – which may help to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Increasing your longevity and ensuring that you are protecting your brain at the same time involves a combination of things, but exercise is likely the single best thing you can do.
Even a little is better than none but aim for about 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week for better results and increased longevity.
You also want to continue socializing, stay mentally active, get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, and keep inflammation under control.