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Kent Probst, BS, MEd
Kent Probst is the owner of Long Healthy Life Blog
Exercise for Brain Fog: Why it’s Important
Difficulty concentrating, mental fatigue, forgetfulness, and lack of mental energy are signs that you may be experiencing brain fog. One solution some people are overlooking is exercise for brain fog.
Brain fog can adversely affect how you function from work to sleep to personal relationships.
Brain fog that lasts more than two weeks, and doesn’t go away with exercise and dietary changes, should be addressed by a physician.
If you find out that your brain fog can be corrected by lifestyle changes, exercise for brain fog may help.
Exercise for Brain Fog: How it Works
There are a number of things that happen in your brain with regular exercise. Here are a few that scientists have identified:
- Increased blood flow
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced stress hormone levels
All of the exact mechanisms by which exercise improves brain health and brain fog are not fully understood, but there are a number of impressive benefits.
Neurogenesis is the formation of new neurons in the brain and nervous system. With aging there’s a moderate decline in this process. That’s where exercise plays a role.
Aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the brain and is thought to induce neurogenesis. This study also noticed improvements in cognitive function.
Exercise has also been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus where neurogenesis commonly occurs.
2. Reduced Risk of Dementia
Older adults who have higher levels of exercise also have a significantly reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Physical activity late in life is also associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.
Multiple studies corroborate other studies, suggesting that higher levels of physical activity decreases the progression of cognitive decline and reduces the risk of dementia.
3. Protection of Brain Cells
With aging, changes occur in the brain such as loss of volume, often resulting in declines in executive function, thinking, attention, memory, and language.
Researchers investigated cardiorespiratory fitness to see if it had a positive effect on brain volume. They found that among more than 2000 participants, those who had higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness also had greater brain volume, or gray matter.
4. Improved Learning
Adolescent children who incorporated gross motor learning activities into their routine performed better and made more improvement with mathematical skills than children who participated fine motor learning activities.
What’s more, researchers found that children who were involved in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity had better reading comprehension than children who were sedentary.
5. Management of Depression
Ever notice how you feel better after you exercise? It can play a significant role in managing depression without drugs.
And the scientific research backs this up. Aerobic exercise improves people’s mood and helps with regulation of emotional responses and behavior.
People who exercise regularly also have a lower risk of depression than those who are sedentary.
Ryan Olsen, Ph.D., from the University of North Texas, found that people with depression reduced their symptoms by 58% with endurance exercise. Greater improvement in cognitive function was seen as people increased their time exercising.
6. Improved Memory
Aerobic exercise comes through again. This form of exercise actually increases the size of the hippocampus in the brain and improves memory.
Interestingly, the hippocampus is typically larger in people who demonstrate higher levels of physical fitness.
People who have higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness generally have better working memory and psychomotor skills as evidenced by a published study. The study looked at the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive function over a 25 year period in 2,747 participants.
Create a Workout to Beat Brain Fog
Whether you have brain fog, or you’re looking to prevent brain fog, exercise for brain fog is definitely worth trying.
The Long Healthy Life Blog is here to help you design a workout to beat brain fog.
With your brain benefitting in so many ways from exercise, why would you not try exercise for brain fog?
If you’re already engaging in exercise for brain fog, we’d like to know how it’s going.
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.