Researchers from Harvard University have determined that regular exercise can improve memory and thinking skills. With that knowledge, it is important to determine which exercises, and even diet plans, help improve your mental health. Taking the time to learn the proper way to implement these methods will be beneficial for anyone looking to improve their lives through exercise and diet.
Exercise Your Way To A Strong Memory
The Harvard researchers found that exercising both directly and indirectly improves memory and thinking capabilities. Directly, exercise reduces both insulin resistance and inflammation. Exercise also stimulates the release of growth factors, which are chemicals that affect the health and survival of brain cells and the growth of new blood vessels. Indirectly, exercise remains beneficial for mental health. Exercise helps improve your mood and your sleep cycle. It can also reduce stress and anxiety, typical areas that can cause cognitive impairments.
Unfortunately, the Harvard research team did not have specific exercises that help improve the mental condition. However, their research indicates that most light to moderate aerobic exercises provide benefits. They recommend 120 to 150 minutes per week exercising. For as little as a half hour a day you can exercise enough to improve your mental health.
You Are What You Eat
Diet also plays a large role in boosting your brain power. The MIND diet is one of the many options available. The MIND diet emphasizes eating portions of fish, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans and even a glass of wine. The key difference is that the MIND diet leans heavy on brain boosting foods like berries and leafy greens. The MIND diet has been shown to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by as much as 53%.
Even smaller diet changes can be beneficial. A cup of coffee or tea in the morning gives you a caffeine boost that can take you out of a morning fog. Small amounts of caffeine can help stimulate your nervous system and help you focus. Be careful though, over-consumption can leave you feeling jittery.
Too often we neglect our mental health and capabilities. Simply eating better and exercising more can make a world of difference. Start making these simple changes today and see the results. It’s never too late to start taking your health seriously.
Written by: Jane Sandwood