Physical activity is very important for a healthy life. Moreover, it creates strong effects not only for physical health but also for brain health.
According to experts, high-intensity interval training, aerobic exercise, weight training, yoga, sports or sports-specific activities enable the development of different functions in the brain. Regions with functions in many areas, from memory and direction finding, to complex thinking, problem solving, reasoning and dealing with more than one job, are moving. Üsküdar University Faculty of Health Sciences (SABİF) Head of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Department Assoc. Dr. Defne Kaya stated that physical activity should always be in life in order to live with health for many years and pointed out that exercise has important contributions in improving brain functions;
The heart of the walk is getting stronger!
“In order to improve the musculoskeletal system and make the heart stronger, you have to do at least 30 minutes of brisk walking and exercise at least three days a week. Because you make your heart stronger with walking, get rid of your belly fat, strengthen your muscles and bones when you exercise with weight, you will both calm your soul, return to yourself and lengthen your muscles with yoga. In order to live with health for many years, physical activity should always be in your life like a precious gem. An active life is a great investment that you can provide yourself by doing any exercise or sport you want / enjoy, ”Assoc said. Dr. According to Defne Kaya, previous studies indicated that especially aerobic exercise carries more oxygen and growth factors to the brain, thereby reducing dementia and depression and also strengthening memory. New studies show that exercise significantly improves some functions in the brain.
What happens in our brains with 5 different types of exercise?
The exercise we do for both ourselves and our health has very important effects on the brain. So what happens to our brains when we do high intensity interval training, aerobic exercise, weight training, yoga, sports or sports-specific activity for at least 30 minutes?
High intensity interval training: Exercise consisting of different speed and rest intervals and 80-95% aerobic capacity stimulates our hypothalamus: We control our appetite. This is a great thing for weight control. The hypothalamus also has a positive effect on uncontrolled cravings and addiction. High intensity interval training may be a good option for substance use disorder (alcohol, drugs, smoking, etc.). It is important to keep in mind, by making high-intensity interval training that stimulates your hypothalamus into a philosophy of life, you can make your brain work like a younger brain than your age.
Aerobic exercise: Activities such as walking, running, swimming, cycling are suitable for aerobic exercise, and when we do it at the appropriate time and pace, it stimulates our Hippocampus: The hippocampus, who is in charge of finding memory and direction, also plays a role in the limbic system, which tries to transform the behaviors into behavior. People who do aerobic exercise three days a week have been shown to have wider hippocampuses and better memory tests. I would also like to emphasize that the hippocampus is one of the first affected areas in Alzheimer’s. There are also studies showing that aerobic exercise, especially brisk walking, has very effective results in children with distraction and hyperactivity disorder.
Weight lifting: Both your own body weight and the punching bags, elastic bands, weight equipment, weight training that you do to strengthen your muscles at the exercise stations stimulate the Prefrontal cortex in the front of our brain: the complex thinking, problem solving, reasoning, prefrontal cortex responsible for more than one task. It links and integrates all components of behavior, provides feedback loops and connections between the sensory and musculoskeletal system. I think aerobic exercise will be a great help for success for children preparing for the exams. If you combine weight lifting and aerobic exercises, you stimulate the release of insulin-like growth factor. This improves the communication between brain cells and enables the development of new neurons and blood vessels.
Yoga: When we practice yoga, three different regions are affected in our brain:
1- Frontal lobe located in front of the brain and responsible for many important functions such as conscious thinking, attention, planning, control of impulses,
2- We want to eat a second sandwich when we are very hungry, who is the source of social emotions such as desire and hate, pride and humiliation, guilt and apology, which is the task of increasing the emotional response to moral instinct, empathy and music, at the same time, responding to the demands of the body. Insula, an area where emotions and thoughts integrate, such as smoking or taking refuge in cocaine),
3- Amigdala, who is responsible for emotion control, especially fear and anxiety. Already in Sanskrit language yoga is derived from the word “yuj”, which means “controlling”, “subjugating”, “meeting”, “coming together”, “unity”, “encounter”, “method” or “uniting”. With the effect of these multi-center region stimuli in the brain, therefore, yoga balances, strengthens us, improves the quality of daily life and awakens our body both spiritually and physically, and those who practice regularly embrace life with a sense of unity in their physical, mental and spiritual sense. Isn’t it a great “antidepressant” at this stressful and busy work pace? Moreover, there are no side effects.
Sports or sport-specific activity: Muscular force is not enough to do sports. It is necessary to have many functions both physically and mentally. Conversely, doing sports improves both the body and our mind. How it does it: Yoga affects four important areas in the brain:
1- Prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for complex thinking, problem solving, reasoning, multiple work,
2- Basal ganglion responsible for very important functions such as attention, implementation and management of complex movements, control of transitions between activity-movement and work, control of the speed of movement, deceleration and suppression,
3- Parietal lobe, which forms the side of our brain and plays an important role in combining information from various sensory organs, and also has the task of using objects and some spatial vision processes,
4- Cerebellum (i.e. cerebellum), which is the body’s body of balance and works effectively in maintaining attention. It is one of the important findings emphasized in today’s studies that children with large hippocampus and basal ganglion area are more careful, control their behavior better, and are more successful and superior in comparison to their peers in developing multiple jobs and functions. Directing our children to appropriate sports, in order to increase their mental, cognitive, sensory and behavioral development, not only physically, will be the greatest legacy that can be left to them. ”