By Jane Sandwood
Did you know that Alzheimer’s disease can begin 20 years before you even notice the first symptoms?
Studies have found that as early as now, your brain could already be experiencing small, unnoticeable changes that can potentially develop into significant cognitive decline decades later. These recent findings tell us that it’s never too early to start safeguarding your brain health, and one of the ways to do that is through regular physical activity.
Not only can you train to lose weight and gain muscle, but you can also exercise your brain to make it sharper and less susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other cognitive disorders. Here's a brain-boosting fitness routine that you might want to start with.
Cardio Exercises And Proper Nutrition In The Morning
Aerobic exercise has a positive effect on memory, learning and other cognitive functions. Cardio activities such as brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming or even dancing can increase your heart rate and allows more oxygen to be pumped to the brain.
Physical activity can also stimulate the growth of new brain cells, which can make up for the brain cells that have been damaged or destroyed. To take advantage of these brain-boosting exercises, try to do cardio for at least 30 minutes each day.
Doing cardio in the morning also has the added benefit of weight loss. You’re able to burn more fat and get your metabolism growing. Just make sure to have a healthy, nutritious breakfast afterward. For better brain health, you might also want to make add vitamins and other natural supplements like bacopa monnieri to your diet. Bacopa monnieri is a nootropic that has cognitive-enhancing effects, specifically when it comes to memory recall. There are also other brain-boosting supplements like fish oil, resveratrol and caffeine, among others.
Wind Down With Yoga and Meditation In The Afternoon
After all your tasks for the day have been completed, you can wind down with a brief session of yoga and mindfulness meditation. Studies have found that low-intensity exercises that focus on the mind-body connection can also give your brain a boost.
Specifically, yoga and meditation can train your brain to focus on essential information and make more mindful choices. Not only does yoga and meditation improve cognitive performance, these low-intensity exercises can also increase energy levels and improve your mental health.
Even though yoga and meditation may not be as physically demanding as cardio or other forms of exercise, they still have the potential to create new neural connections as well as strengthen the current connections. Thus, your brain can function more optimally and will be less susceptible to early cognitive decline. Even just 25 minutes of yoga and meditation each day can give you better brain health.
Resistance Training A Few Times Each Week
Resistance-exercise training, also known as strength training, is another brain-boosting fitness routine that you might want to incorporate for better brain health. Historically, this type of exercise is more commonly associated with bodybuilders or individuals who want to bulk up their muscle mass. Recently, though, studies have found that resistance training can also improve cognition as well as enhance individuals’ quality of life.
Compared to cardio exercises or low-intensity exercises that you can do daily, resistance training is more physically demanding. You can have strength training, either with weights or resistance bands, about two or three times a week. Just make sure to take into account your physical abilities and limitations when coming up with a resistance training routine.
Change Up Your Fitness Routine
Lastly, don’t forget to change up your fitness routine from time to time to ensure that you’re taking full advantage of these exercises’ brain-boosting abilities. Rotating between different cardio exercises, low-intensity mind-body exercises and strength training means your fitness routine won’t become stagnant and thus, you’ll always be motivated to do your exercises. Different exercises can also trigger different areas of the brain, which can make current connections stronger.
Apart from regular physical activity, proper diet and nutrition, adequate sleep, cognitive training, essential medical treatment and social interactions are also important for improving brain health. Make sure that you also focus on these other aspects. If you do, you’ll be able to see better gains from your brain-boosting fitness routine.
Exercising is no longer just about changing how you look and feel on the outside. Numerous studies have found that regular physical activity can also have a positive effect on your brain health. It can be a very effective way to prevent or slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other cognitive ailments.
With this brain-boosting fitness routine, you're able to sharpen and strengthen your mind. Though you might not see the significant effects on your brain until decades later, adopting a brain-boosting fitness routine as early as now gives you the peace of mind that you're doing everything you can to safeguard your brain health.
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