The Best Physical Exercises for a Healthy Brain

Exercise is good for your body, but did you know that it also makes for a healthy brain? This is because it helps to improve the brain's cognitive processes and protects against neurodegenerative diseases.
The Best Physical Exercises for a Healthy Brain
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

How do you keep a healthy brain? In our articles, we talk very often about the need to increase your cognitive reserve. Our cognitive reserve involves things like being curious, learning new things every day and strengthening your social relationships.

The brain is like a muscle that needs to be stimulated every day, which will help it create new neural connections.

Factors such as stress, routine or negative emotions make it difficult to establish these connections. In fact, these factors can have such a negative impact that they lead to decreasing our agility and the health of many of our brain structures.

Since a healthy brain learns new things each day and meets the needs of our emotional world, it needs a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients. This can optimize each of the tasks it needs to complete.

We achieve this effect on our brain by doing physical exercise, but not just any type of exercise.

In today’s article we’re going to talk about these exercises. Besides giving our brain a workout, they also help to process our emotions, give us a sense of freedom and make us happy.

Let’s explain how they do this.

Maintain a healthy brain by doing “relaxing” exercises

The University of Illinois at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology conducted a study about exercise.

In this study, they found that people who regularly do moderate exercise have a greater brain volume than those who don’t.

This means that they have a greater ability to face possible neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, for example.

This is something that undeniably interests us all. We can achieve the desired effect in the following way:

Walking while carrying weights for a healthy brain

Jogging for a healthy brain

On more than one occasion, we’ve talked about the multiple benefits of taking a walk for a least half an hour everyday.

This is because it’s a great way to get our heart going, to increase our endorphins and to oxygenate the brain. 

Furthermore, as a result of walking, we release tension from our body and don’t let our daily problems bother us as much.

However, if you’re able to do this, don’t hesitate to also carry a pair of small weights with you when you’re walking, so that you can exercise your arms.

According to a study published in the magazine “Newscientist” taking part in aerobic exercises, which also improve your resistance, fosters our cognitive process functioning. 

This includes an improvement in our memory, executive function, reasoning and resolution.

This is because the oxygenation and beneficial blood circulation are accompanied by tasks that the brain carries out; tasks such as walking, coordination and lifting weight.

Furthermore, it is known that walking quickly and exerting some kind of force and moderate resistance causes our liver to produce a type of hormone. In turn, this helps the communication between brain cells.

This is, without a doubt, an interesting topic.  Therefore, it’s worth putting the information above into practice. However, you shouldn’t overdo it with these exercises.

The aim is to do moderate exercises every day. For instance, a 30 minute walk is sufficient.

The great benefits of dancing

Group of people dacing for a healthy brain

Have you signed up for a zumba class? If so, don’t quit going.

But if dancing isn’t your thing or it embarrasses you, don’t hesitate to do it at home and get carried away.

Or alternatively, you could follow one of those motivational videos where they teach you to dance and have good coordination.

  • Experts tell us that dance can help to develop propioception, which is nothing more than becoming aware of where all our body parts are situated.
  • Thanks to dancing and the coordination of certain steps, it’s possible for us to activate some receptors found in our muscles called neuromusclular fuses. These muscles communicate with the brain.
  • This all helps to generate great harmony between the mind and body where we create new neural connections. This is also how we look after our emotions and get a a good dose of energy and happiness.

We recommend:

Do You Know The Benefits of Dancing?

Water exercises

When we talk about water exercises, we’re not only referring to swimming.

  • Performing certain movements in water is like playing a game and quite entertaining. It not only helps us burn calories, but also improves our coordination and resistance. These are two key activities that help us keep a healthy brain.
  • To get the most out of water exercises it’s essential to do a series of repetitions for several minutes.

Don’t forget to check out:

What’s The Best Sport for Your Personality?

For instance, you can do leg lifts or body rotations in the water.

Or alternatively, you can work with balls or boards; you can even imitate the peddling movements of riding a bike.

Furthermore, if you also listen to good music and have good company while doing water exercises, this will all have a positive impact on your physical and mental health, as well as the health of your brain.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.