Tag Archives: hippocampus

Fitness & Exercise: Good for the Brain

 

First things first: Happy Freaking New Year, right?!

I will be the first to tell you that I am so glad that 2016 is over. That was a rough year for me, but I’m not about to throw at you the whole “new year, new me” crap. Yes, it’s a new year, but it’s not a new me, just…. an improved me. I have so many things I want to accomplish this year and my mindset is so focused right now, it’s ridiculous.

Foremost, I plan to be more consistent on this blog and improve on it. I have a lot of learning to do, but it can be done. I know through my own experience, that blogs have been a HUGE help in terms of my fitness career. I turn to them all the time and I want to be able to share what I’ve learned to people around the world looking for the same motivation. Writing these are also a learning experience for me because I get to go more in depth in research and learn along the way as I am teaching all of you. It’s a WIN, WIN!

Speaking of learning, that’s the topic of this post. My last post revolved around how fitness and exercise has a positive impact on your mood and now I want to expand on how it helps with intellect and learning.

It’s a very simple concept, but recent studies by the University of British Columbia have shown that regular aerobic exercise (anything that increases heart rate) appears to increase the size of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is that located on each lateral (side) of the brain, and it is the area of the brain highly involved with verbal memory and learning. Not only that, but exercise also reduces insulin resistance, reduces inflammation, and stimulates the release of growth factors (chemicals in the brain responsible for the health of brain cells, growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and the survival of already existing brain cells.

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Now that’s just the surface.

Exercise also indirectly improves brain functioning by improving mood (see previous post), improving sleep, and reducing stress and anxiety. I know for a fact that the gym is my outlet whenever I’m stressed or a little anxious.

Crazy, huh? So not only are you keeping your body healthy, but your cognitive function too!

See, it’s actually pretty easy to understand and that’s just in terms of exercising. Eating the right foods also helps improve brain function and improves your mood.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I feel so much better physically and mentally after a good gym session and a healthy and clean diet.

So enough of that.

My plans for 2017:

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As I mentioned before, I have a lot of things I want to accomplish this year and I want to share my progress with you. Every week, I will be doing a weekly check-in (#weeklycheckin) on my Instagram. No filters, no bullshit progress photos every week. I want to be real with people. These weekly check ins will include current weight, some measurements, and current body fat percentage. The fitness journey and industry is not always peaches and cream. I want to share my progress as I work on obtaining my goals.

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So here is to you fitfam! Here’s to new goals, a new mindset, and a fabulous 2017!!!!