Strengthen the brain, increase self-healing, and experience connection even in isolation.
Even while we wait and have to be confined to smaller areas of life, lets not forget that we can use this time as a gift. This time can be used for self care. We know that exercise has always been a fundamental aspect of health. It is something we can do in confined spaces, and its benefits does more than just strengthen the muscles, it helps increase brain connectivity, which can lead to more social empathy. Our connection to the outside world, even in isolation, can still be amplified with the use of daily exercise.
In a 2008 study, Medical Science Sports Exercise (journal 40), they say that only 5% of us get the suggested 30 minutes of exercise a day. The research further states that we spend most of the day sitting and in a sedentary state. Biology research shows that our bodies were designed for regular exercise. Why is it so important? Because of the positive effect to our brain, mental health, and social connection.
Exercise increases the re-wiring of our brains. Studies show that consistent movement of the body create new neural pathways to carry the signals for those particular movements and coordinated intentions. The brain grows and restructures with new nerves when we try new exercises, routines, and patterns...this is called NEUROPLASTICITY. The key is consistency, do it every day for at least 30 minutes. As we exercise, we can be assured that we are developing more connection to higher order thinking=the pre-frontal cortex.
The pre-frontal cortex is the section of our brains that creates better problem solving, analysis, executive functioning, and STRESS response. With better higher thinking, we are able to analyze incoming stress, and determine a solvable course of action in response. The pre-frontal cortex helps modulate the amygdala (threat response center), so we don’t freak out when stress comes our way. The healthier the connection between these two centers of the brain, the more life flows for us...we don’t let stress rule us. Exercise increases this connection.
Scientist are still debating this connection, but I see the reasoning and positive aspects of it. Regular exercise increases our link to higher mind/thinking, and it has been shown in research to increase BDNF=brain derived neurotrophic factors. This is a protein that has been mentioned before that develops new nerve and tissue growth within the brain. With this combination of growth, the researchers are led to believe that this increases our natural ability for empathy towards others. The pre-frontal area allows our to have affinity for intentional thought, love, compassion, and connection.
All these areas of life are amplified by regular exercise. The type of exercise is up to you, and your body type can determine which form is most suitable. We can discuss that in another post:) But do the exercise you like best, and which makes you feel good. Our bodies were meant to exert energy, but conserve it at the same time without going into burnout, haha. We can discuss that too in the future.