From a behavioral perspective, the same antidepressant-like effects associated with ‘runner’s high’ found in humans is associated with a drop in stress hormones. Studies have shown how the anti-depressant effect of running was also associated with more cell growth in the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for cognitive function.
When anxiety hits, it might be hard to feel motivated to exercise, but studies show that performing physical activity is one of your best defenses against future stressors.
Tips for Choosing The Right Physical Exercise
- In general, all that is good for your heart is great for your brain.
- Aerobic exercise has been proven to improve brain function
- Exercising in the morning before starting your day not only spikes brain activity and prepares you for mental stressors, but also produces increased retention of new information, and better reaction to complex situations.
- When looking to change up your work out, look for an activity that incorporates coordination along with cardio exercise.
- If you like crunching time at the gym alone, opt for circuit work outs, which both quickly spike your heart rate, but also constantly redirect your attention.
- Hitting a wall or mentally exhausted? Doing a few jumping jacks might reboot your brain.
For an appointment or consultation with Dr. Gary Bellman, please contact the office or call 818-912-1899