We all know there are benefits to exercising. However, there are some lesser known benefits to getting in shape and losing weight as well.
Every time your memory fails you for a second, go for a power walk. In a six-month study, it was found that older women who exercised aerobically had markedly better memories than control groups that lifted weights, toned or didn’t exercise. The regimen: 40 minutes of walking, twice weekly.
Before a workout get your flu shot. Exercise may double its potency. Those who jogged or rode bikes for 90 minutes after the flu shot had twice the antibody response a month later compared to those who relaxed. Two possible explanations: exercise boosts immune response and helps circulate the vaccine away from the injection site.
If you are working on muscle memory, for example, piano playing, exercise can help. Do it -- then try running or another exercise that is heart-racing. Exercise boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor a protein that helps "cement" memories.
Exercise may reverse cognitive decline caused by a longtime high-fat diet. When rats on the equivalent of a burger-and-pizza diet exercised daily, their mental decline reversed itself after seven weeks. At four months, these fat-fed mice had better memory function than non-exercisers on a low-fat diet. Aerobics may also help compensate for alcohol-related brain damage. Immoderate drinkers who worked out had far more white matter than their sedentary peers.
We’ve all heard of a "runner’s high" (endorphin rush). Now there’s another inducement to get to the gym: the "coregasm" -- an exercise-induced orgasm (which may strike by surprise, apparently.)
Make better decisions by exercising for 10-40 minutes first Kids and young adults who worked out right before test-taking showed better concentration and self-control than non-exercisers. During exercise, more oxygen-rich blood flows to the frontal lobes, the area responsible for "executive function"-- thinking ahead, reasoning and keeping yourself in check.
You can grow your brain, even as you age. When seniors exercised for a year, their hippocampus ("memory gateway") plumped up 2% -- which sharpened recall and reduced dementia risk. In the inactive control group, that part of the brain shrunk and memory got fuzzier.
Work out just 15 minutes a day -- and you get an extra three years of life. (And more means more: 30 minutes daily gets you four years more, Cancer rates among exercisers dropped by 10%; heart disease by 20%.
Okay, we’re not saying that nothing will bother you. But you’ll likely find that your fitter self is more resilient to slights, pressure and disappointments.
For more information on the benefits of exercising, or for help in creating an exercise program, contact Answer is Fitness.
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