Written by Chris Claussen, Co-Founder, Chief Innovation Officer
About the Author: Chris has over 20 years of experience in product and business development. For the past five years he has focused exclusively on innovative product development in the functional foods and functional mushrooms space. Chris brings experience exploring, experimenting, and conducting extensive research on the relationship between functional foods/mushrooms and metabolic, brain, and mental health.
Physical exercise is essential to keeping your body and mind in shape as you age. Several studies have evidenced the positive impact aerobic and strength training exercises can have on cognitive abilities such as information processing, memory recall, alertness, and mood stabilization — to name a few! It only takes between 10 and 30 minutes of daily physical activity to enhance performance while benefiting overall health.
Exercise induces good blood flow by increasing the production of molecules essential to brain function, including memory. It also stimulates brain plasticity by stimulating the growth of new connections between cells in a wide array of important brain cortical areas. Recent research from UCLA demonstrated that exercise increased growth factors in the brain — making it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections. Exercising can increase the thickness of your cerebral cortex too!
Another significant benefit of exercise is increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) molecules in the body. BDNF helps create new connections between neurons that enable us to process and store information more efficiently, increasing our capacity for long-term memories. By boosting BDNF levels with exercise, even just a few times a week, you can give yourself an invaluable cognitive advantage.
Whether it’s a run on the treadmill or a weightlifting session, aerobic exercises and strength training improve neuroplasticity — the process by which our brains form new neurons throughout our lifespan. Regularly engaging in these physical activities is fantastic for brain health; aerobics boost vascular fitness while strength workouts increase mental clarity!
Overall, regular physical activity has many benefits when it comes to optimizing your health, both physically and mentally, but especially when it comes to improving your cognitive abilities and overall quality of life. From helping to increase blood flow throughout our bodies — including our brains — to stimulating neuroplasticity, there are endless benefits that come with making physical activity part of your daily routine!