You have probably heard many times that exercise can make you smarter. This one is true. Scientific research has shown time and time and again that regular exercise can boost brain health.


Exercise affects the brain in many different ways:

  • Increases heart rate, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the brain 

  • Stimulates the release of hormones that provide the best enriched environment for growth of brain cells

  • Promotes healthy sleep

  • Stimulates brain plasticity, this is the growth of new connections in the brain and is critical for learning and memory

  • Mood boosting, known for its anti-depressive effects

    • Promotes a drop in stress hormones like cortisol (depending on intensity)


    Exercise is a no brainer, it reduces the chances of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It helps with healthy weight, controls blood pressure, and prevents depression. Scientific research has also shown that exercise can prevent cognitive decline as you get older. Regular aerobic exercise that raises heart rate and makes you sweat, appears to increase the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in learning and memory. It’s believed that exercise can actually change your brain and protect your memory and ability to learn as you get older.


    Whether it’s a direct or indirect effect, exercise improves mood, sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety, all things that contribute to cognitive impairment.

    To put it really matter of fact: your optimal brain functioning requires regular exercise.


    What does that look like?


    Find exercises that you love to do. If you enjoy it, then you are more likely to continue with it. Most of the research has looked into walking. A brisk walk for 1 hour twice a week or 30 minutes 3 to 4 times a week improves brain health and cognition. Other moderate-intensity exercise includes swimming, dancing, stair climbing, tennis, soccer, or frisbee.


    If you are still struggling: 

      1. Join a fitness class

      2. Find an accountability workout friend

      3. Track your progress on an app or journal

      4. Make a fitness schedule and stick to it

      5. Exercise outside and enjoy the weather