Saturday, July 4, 2009
We all know exercise is "good for us" but what specifically does it do for our bodies & minds?
Cardiovascular Training, anything which gets you huffing & puffing, is great for fat burning and reducing size & weight, it also has the benefits of increasing your energy levels & metabolism and much, much more.
Strong evidence is now emerging that cardiovascular exercise can have a far more potent impact on the brain than simply making people feel good. Neuroscientists at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada, have found that as little as 30 minutes of cardio three time a week can have an impact on the brain after just three months.
Over the past decade, researchers have produced a mountain of evidence in journals such as Nature and Psychological Science showing even moderate exercise, when taken regularly, can enhance an older person’s performance on cognitive tests such as problem solving.
Another study in the Journal of Gerontology in 2006 detailed part of the biological basis of the effect. Through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) they saw parts of the brain, which deal with executive functions and appeared inactive before he training program, suddenly “light up” or become active once more, becoming more like activation patterns observed when younger adults performed tasks. Cardiovascular exercise was the only form of exercise to produce these results. In short, increasing blood flow transports more oxygen to the brain (and other organs) encouraging growth of small vessels and helping the brain grow & stay healthy.*
THE KEY IS FREQUENCY, NOT INTENSITY.
Exercise prevents “lifestyle” diseases like high blood pressure or diabetes and regular training can improve your overall health to the point you may be able to reduce your medications to control these conditions.
Strength training, working your muscles using resistance or weights, provides all of the benefits of cardio training, plus increasing your physical strength. We’re all familiar with Osteoporosis and even if bone density is beginning to decline, strength training can slow the rate of decline.
Exercising regularly is banking your future health and keeping you in the best shape possible to deal with any health challenges that do arise.
Cardio Exercises: Walking at a brisk pace, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, anything that gets you puffing to the point it's difficult to carry on a conversation, is providing you with all these benefits and more.
Do what you enjoy, ramp up the pace, and feel the results!
*Source: Cosmos Magazine Issue 26 April/May 2009