Go on a Run, it’s Good for Your Brain

Go on a Run, it’s Good for Your Brain

We all know that exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But, did you know how important it is for maintaining your brain? A 2018 Ted Talk by Wendy Suzuki, The brain-changing benefits of exercise, talks about exactly that.
In her talk, she begins by telling the audience that she stumbled upon this realization without intending to. She is well-known in the neuroscience community for her studies in other areas and was “at the height of her memory work” at the time of her realization.
To make a long story short, she deep dives into how she began to exercise frequently and saw huge changes in the way her brain was functioning. After weeks of constant exercise, she couldn’t help but notice that her mood, energy, attention span, and long-term memory were better than they’ve ever been. She claimed in the talk, “maybe I did an experiment on myself without even knowing it”, it sparked her curiosity and was the beginning of a complete shift in focus of her research.
In her research, she discovered correlations between brainpower and exercise that scientists, before and after, have also looked into.

The result of exercise

According to WebMD, some brain effects happen immediately after exercise. One part of the EEG (electroencephalogram) test, called the iAPF (Individual alpha peak frequency). This measures a person’s ability to focus and pay attention. In studies done by WebMD, the iAPF goes up immediately following intense exercise.
Walking, jogging, and other aerobic exercises will improve your brain’s ability to remember things. As you get older, the hippocampus (the memory and learning part of the brain) will naturally shrink and your memory will get worse. Daily exercise will slow this shrinking, especially if you enjoy the exercise you’re doing.
Light exercise will also keep your brain “young.” When you’re younger, learning new things is generally easier. Exercise or weight training will help your brain’s neuroplasticity – the ability of your brain to change when you learn new things.
The “executive function” of the brain, which is your ability to organize and interpret information, works much better when you’re keeping up with an exercise routine. This process will start after just one session of exercise.
Better, deeper sleep is something everyone covets. Exercise during waking hours will help you during sleeping hours. For example, your sleep will become deeper and your circadian rhythm will improve.

How much do I have to exercise to see results?

If you are active for at least 30 minutes a day (on most days), you will start to see the results of your actions. If you are able to commit to more than that, you will see even better results. You will get the best benefits from exercise that lasts 45-60 minutes.
As Wendy Suzuki jokes in her Ted Talk, most people really want to know the minimum amount of exercise they can do to see all these changes. The answer she provides – “you want to get 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week.” Getting your heart rate up is very important, and can be done without an expensive gym membership.
Through her research journey, Dr. Suzuki is trying to find the ‘key’ for individual people. In other words, she wants to understand how much exercise (specifically) people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, etc. need to do to maximize the amount of exercise that will improve/protect their brain for the rest of their life.

However, exercise is just the beginning. We need our brains to be working to the best of their ability so we can go out and use them to their fullest extent. If your brain needs a little extra help, go for a run, or call us at Miles Smart Tutoring. We’ll be there to help you when the extra 30 minutes of aerobics doesn’t solve all your problems. For any subject and any grade, give us a call today for a free consultation, (813)-328-3036 or visit www.milessmarttutoring.com