Did you know that exercise can trigger the production of new brain cells?

Yes, you have heard correctly. Recent research is looking at the changes within the brain due to exercise. Neurogenesis is the formation of new brain cells. Research has looked into where these new cells are forming, and the hippocampus (AKA: your memory) is one of the primary receivers of these brain cells.

Recent research from Finland has looked at the effects of exercise in three different modes- running, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight training. They found that running was the most effective method in the generation of new brain cells in rats with HIIT second and weight training being the least effective mode.

So what does this mean?

Exercise has the ability to change the brain- not only through the creation of new cells, but through its protective mechanisms of internal structures of the brain. Exercise prevents shrinkage of the brain, a common feature in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise improves blood flow and therefore oxygen supply to the brain. Exercise also produces more serotonin and dopamine, the hormones responsible for mood control and subsequently decrease production of cortisol, the stress hormone. The creation of new cells is important in assisting problem solving, enhancing creativity and reducing stress.

If you aren’t a runner, don’t fret- walking can also have the same valuable effects. Ad long as you are active and exercising regularly, the brain is benefiting just as much as the heart. Exercise is not only good for the body, but great for the mind as well as seen through recent research. It can lead to improvements in work performance, increased energy and increased concentration.

If you think your workplace can benefit of the workplace programs that Health by Design provide, contact us today for more information.