In an enlightening talk, neural science professor Wendy Suzuki shares how incorporating physical activity into your daily life can benefit both your mood and brain health. What insights does she provide? Let’s take a look.
Her Epiphany: Better Brain Health Through Exercise
Suzuki recounts her own story of shifting to a more active lifestyle and noticing improvements in memory and concentration. Intrigued, she explored the science behind why exercise makes us feel sharper mentally.
Harnessing the Power of the “Runner’s High”
While discussing the euphoric “runner’s high,” Suzuki explains that any aerobic activity releases mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. This chemical surge explains the immediate mood lift exercise provides.
Exercise for Long-Term Brain Benefits
Suzuki notes regular workouts also stimulate growth factors that build new connections between brain cells. This growth enhances areas like the hippocampus, vital for memory and cognition. Physical activity also strengthens the prefrontal cortex i.e. your attention center.
Start Small for Big Changes in Outlook
While intense workouts are great, Suzuki says even brief 10-minute walks can reduce anxiety and boost mood thanks to these neural effects. Her advice? Experiment and find enjoyable activities you’ll stick with.
Tips to Incorporate More Movement into Your Day
Suzuki suggests small hacks like parking farther away, turning chores into exercise, and leisurely strolls through the mall to sneak in activity. Because exercise benefits the plastic brain at any age, it’s never too late to start.
The next time you’re feeling mentally foggy, try going for a quick jog or dance session. According to Suzuki, your brain will thank you! Have you noticed mental benefits from incorporating physical activity into your routine? Share your experience below!