Pumping iron not only inflates your muscles but your mood as well, and with it come a number of other benefits that confirm exercise is medicine. So grab some dumbbells and improve your brain health. (We don't forget cardio either!)
Here our expert explains how EIM (Exercise is Medicine) has a positive effect on your brain health.
The exercise effect – strengthen your brain
We've learned to exercise to stay fit, but exercising benefits our emotional and mental health alike. Using the benefits of training ranges from the “runner's high” to the weight room. Dr. Mindy Pelz, nutrition and functional medicine expert and owner of Family Life Wellness in California, explains: “Exercise stimulates what is known as neurotrophic factor (BDNF) from the brain, a protein that acts like fertilizer on the neurons in our brain. ”
What makes this interesting is that exercise provides a powerful method of strength training the brain to be better and healthier. “t only does BDNF regenerate old and worn neurons that have contributed to memory loss, mood disorders, and the inability to concentrate, but this powerful protein can also help your body grow new neurons in the brain, which will improve your ability to do so learn new information and skills, ”she adds. Good news for those looking for a much-needed brain boost. And the benefits don't stop there.
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Elevate your mood in minutes
Movement is medicine when moods get out of whack. "Exercise should be a good treatment for the tired, moody, stressed, or unfocused brain," says Pelz. And you don't need a gym membership to lift weights – or your mood.
"Exercise is free, powerful, and often it doesn't get as much credit as it deserves for mental health." Adds fur. From cardio to lifting weights, you can turn a bad day into a great one. "It should be our first line of treatment for mental and / or emotional problems," adds Pelz. Thankfully, it doesn't take that long before the mood-boosting benefits become apparent. "Twenty minutes is a great area for improving BDNF production, but you can get yourself out of an anxious state in minutes by walking, running, or hiking," assures Pelz. So if you need a quick mood lift, go for one Run or exercise through intense strength training.
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Pick up irons to beat the blues
Time well spent on iron is known to build stronger bones, increase muscle mass, and boost metabolism, but it can also help fight the blues. A study published in the June 2018 issue of JAMA Psychiatry analyzed 33 clinical studies on the effects of resistance exercise on depression. The results were impressive. The results showed that strength training "significantly reduced" depressive symptoms in the research participants.
t to mention, after a workout you feel like you've accomplished something, and when you reap the results of strengthening, the brain feels great too.
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Go forward to calm yourself down
Put cortisol and anxiety in their place as you move forward. "Exercise, especially in a forward movement such as walking, running or hiking, prompts the amygdala (the part of the brain in which fight or flight reactions live) to calm down and relax," explains Pelz.
In short, when you move forward while exercising, you are signaling the brain to calm down and be afraid to take the back seat.
This also applies to cortisol production. "When we are stressed, our body produces cortisol, and cortisol was developed to get us moving," says Pelz. Because of this, exercise is a crucial part of not only reducing anxiety, but also fighting inflammation and the storage of fat.
"When we don't use the cortisol, that cortisol is stored as fat or gets into the tissues and accelerates inflammation." And according to Fur, cortisol is a mood killer when you don't need another reason to exercise. So, using cortisol through exercise can ensure that your mood stays positive and high. In other words, make cortisol work for you, not against you.
Is Weight Training Or Cardio Better For EIM?
The short answer is, both are effective. However, if you are secreting BDNF and want to calm the anxiety, it may be more helpful to lace up your running shoes.
“Both training methods have a healing effect on the body in different ways,” says Pelz. And it really depends on the person. "Lifting weights can be very effective in secreting growth hormones, which slows down the aging process and speeds up fat burning," says Pelz. As where cardio can calm the anxious mind.
Case in point: Both strength training and cardio, when used together, benefit from physical, emotional, and mental benefits. However, if you feel like your emotions need a lift and your brain needs a boost, using exercise as a medicine can help you feel better, whether it's lifting or cardio.