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No matter if the goal is losing weight or becoming stronger the main fitness tips in such regard evolve around the importance of cardio exercises. Cardio not only helps in burning calories and thus in accelerating the process of weight loss but it also boosts your brain activity. This happens because cardio exercises allows for extra blood to be pumped to the brain which is rather important for the metabolism because the blood is the transporter of oxygen and certain nutrients and chemicals that are very much needed for the enhancement of certain bodily functions which include among all, problem solving, memory, and efficiency. One of the chemicals that are released from doing cardio exercises is endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s self-prescribed anti-anxiety drugs because these chemicals interact with the brain to increase focus, decrease pain impact, and improve your general mood. As it is seen, cardio is the most important of the fitness tips and many celebrities such as Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez do it too. Further, the importance of cardio and its effect on brain activity will be elaborated in details:
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Cardio Exercises’ Effects on the Brain
As previously mentioned, cardio exercises send more blood to the brain which feeds the cells of the brain with oxygen and nutrition such as glucose which improves the performance of these cells. Additionally, hormones, which are sent to the brain by the movement of the muscles, interact with the chemical brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The oxygen and nutrients that the blood sends to the brain together with the chemicals that are released by the muscle movements helps the brain grow.
According to John J. Ratey, who is a psychiatry professor at the Harvard Medical School, BDNF is the chemical that plays the function of a fertilizer to the brain allowing it to absorb new information, process it, and even generate new cells. Some of the hormones that are released are serotonin, a neurotransmitter which helps in muscle building and in general emotional health; dopamine, another neurotransmitter whose main purpose is the regulation of movement processes and gives the tendency to take steps in achieving rewards.; and norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter which acts as the body’s auto-stress-detector and stress-relief. The inefficiency of dopamine can cause Parkinson’s disease, whereas having particularly low levels of the hormone norepinephrine can lead to ADHD or depression. Therefore, if you follow the fitness tips properly and do more cardio you can assist your brain in performing better and prevent certain diseases and disorders.
The Mental Related Benefits
Differently, from weight loss exercises cardio directly affects your mental stability. A study conducted among 250 employees of three different companies concluded that 201 of them performed much better at work after they had exercised regularly. The employees mainly did exercises that can be considered as cardio due to the consumption of the oxygen. These exercises have the same effect as a coffee would but with healthier results. Whereas the effects of a coffee decrease as time goes by, the effects of cardio increase the more exercises you do.
The Immediate Boost of Memory
Furthermore, in another study, with 81 participants who were German speaking healthy females who were divided in three groups in which the first was asked to learn new words after having set doing nothing, the second after they had exercised, and the third while they were exercising it was concluded that the third group who exercised and studied simultaneously memorized more words than the second and the third group. The third group, the inactive one, had the worst performance. Thus, in order for a person to have better result and a better memory they should start doing more cardio exercises.
The Decrease of the Stress Level
Moreover, you might have experienced an improvement of your mood after you went for a run. This is no coincidence as running is one of the main cardio exercises included in the majority of trainers’ fitness tips. Regarding a study that was presented at the Society of Neuroscience annual meeting, running (as well as other cardio exercises) help in dealing with stress. In this study, rats that were thrown in cold water were examined to see how they handled stress. The group of rats that could run before appeared to be less stressed than the group that had not. Running functioned as a mechanism against stress which also happens to humans due to the release of the hormones.
Feature Image Source: HealthCorps