You certainly don’t have to look far to find research explaining the physical benefits of exercise – weight control, reducing the risk of cancers and strengthening bones and muscles, just to name a few advantages. However, did you know that exercise can also boost your brain; the body’s most complex organ?
Yes, through consistent and regular exercise, you can give your brain muscles a good workout as well as your legs. As a personal trainer, your role is focussed on your client’s holistic health – meaning that knowing about how exercise is linked to someone’s overall health is vitally important.
Let’s explore four of these brain-boosting benefits:
1) Improved memory
One of the most significant advantages comes in the form of enhanced memory. As we age, our memory often start to fail us, but according to a study from the University of British Columbia, aerobic fitness might slow this process.
The university cited a study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in 2015 where two groups of 56 to 96 year olds were tested on various cognitive functions. One group then completed a six-month course of supervised aerobic exercise three times per week for 60 minutes and saw massive improvements in both memory and selective attention.
Of course, as Australia’s population continues to age, we as a community need to support healthy brain function.
2) Enhanced brain cell repair and growth
Our brains are living organs with cells dying and growing constantly. However, while this is normal, the rate of growth is closely aligned with physical health – highlighting the benefit of exercise.
Harvard Medical School explained in a 2014 blog article that exercise stimulates the release of hormones and chemicals that promote brain cell repair and growth. Over time, healthy brain cells support various aspects of overall well-being, which shows the value of looking after this powerful organ.
3) Refined decision making and planning
We all make countless decisions daily and most of the time we don’t even think about this process, it just happens. However, did you know that the rationale behind good decisions comes down to the health of our brain?
Exercise gets the blood pumping around our body, especially the brain where functions such as making decisions, planning ahead and staying composed are made.
With the brain enriched with blood and nutrients, you see smarter, faster and more accurate decisions being made – something that will only improve your life moving forward.
4) Extended attention span
Being able to concentrate on tasks for an extended period of time can be a challenge for some of us. Of course, while this can come down to a range of factors, exercise has been proven to improve the attention span of individuals.
Exercise has been proven to improve the attention span of certain individuals.
The University of Granada looked at the cognitive performance of 28 men aged between 17 and 23. Half the group were deemed physically active, while the other half were less active. The study found that the men who regularly participated in exercise had better time orientated attention and time perception than their counterparts.
Again, exercise gets that blood flowing which helps to focus the mind for longer and remain concentrated on difficult tasks. This trait can be a massive benefit in both our personal and professional lives.
A focus on holistic health
As a personal trainer, you’re responsible to support the physical and mental health of your clients. Well-being isn’t just about tone and physique, it’s about making people feel better about themselves and leading more productive lives.