The One Thing Your Brain Needs Most: Exercise

We’ve all heard of loved ones, friends, and family members who begin to have trouble recalling facts and names. They can sometimes seem lost or bewildered on occasion with new tasks or environments, or maybe they just don’t have the mental clarity or focus that they used to possess. Poor diets, lack of adequate sleep, stress, and lack of exercise can all play a role in brain health, but one of these beats out the rest by a landslide.

The One Thing your Brain Needs Most

Eating well can help reduce inflammation in brain tissue, and help prevent swelling and the release of inflammatory chemicals that cause damage to brain cells. The best type of diet for your brain is one that is low in simple sugars and simple, processed carbohydrates, and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, dairy products, and lean proteins like poultry, seafood, and lean meats. Avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages, desserts, candy, sweets, and processed foods like potato chips, crackers, pretzels, and cookies can help stabilize blood sugars, which will help ward off diabetes type 2, dementia, and even possibly Alzheimer’s disease. But the right diet is still not as powerful as this one thing your brain needs most.

While eating right can certainly improve your mood and boost your mental health, exercise is king when it comes to mental health. Exercise is the one thing your brain needs most.  After exercise, your brain releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins that improve your mood, and your mental clarity. Add to that improved circulation, increased cleanup and recycling mechanisms inside brain cells – and you’ve got the exact thing that your brain needs the most.

But the brain-boost doesn’t stop there. Exercise releases other chemicals—called brain-derived neurotrophic factors, or BDNFs—which stimulates brain cells to grow, survive, and recruit new neurons in specific areas of the brain.

People who are suffering from depression can use exercise as a powerful adjunct to their current treatment plan, to improve their mood and mental health overall. Research has started to show that just 30 minutes each day is all it takes for people who are not currently exercising to improve their mood.

People who exercise regularly benefit from improved memory, reduced depression, increased focus, concentration and mental clarity.  Exercise is also one of the best ways to ward off type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. So this is probably the one thing your body needs most – regular exercise.  We evolved in an active state, our bodies and brains were designed to move around all day long, making exercise hands down, the one thing your brain needs the most to boost mental health, maintain memory, and increase focus and mental capacity.