You already know that exercise can make you physically fit, improve your cardiovascular health, and lose weight, but did you know that exercise can improve your mental health as well? We now know that exercise can actually boost your brain power and even ​ward off Alzheimer’s disease​. Here are some benefits to exercise.

#1 Helps Build New Brain Cells

There’s a fair amount of evidence that exercise causes nerve cells to release a special protein labeled BDNF which is short for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This protein tells brain stem cells to create new neurons. So people who exercise are not only building healthy bodies, but gaining more brain cells.

#2 Reduces Stress

If you’re stressed out from work, hitting the gym helps. Not only is it good to relieve tension in your body, but it also increases the production of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine helps the brain cope with stress and gives you a chance to unwind, which can help the brain cope with stress more efficiently.

#3 Makes You Feel Better

One thing exercise does is cause the release of endorphins. Endorphins are a type of hormone that is associated with happiness. This is why exercising can put you into a better mood and can be as effective as antidepressants when it comes to depression. Exercising can also help anxiety. It’s proven that exercise can help people with anxiety disorders. So instead of feeling down, try exercise.

#4 Can Improve Your Memory

Feeling forgetful? Maybe you just need to get a regular exercise routine. Exercise increases the production of brain cells that are responsible for learning and memory. These brain cells are in the hippocampus and research has shown that exercise is vital for children’s brain development and for improving memory in adults.

#5 Help You Fall Asleep

If you suffer from insomnia, don’t reach for the sleeping pills, reach for your gym bag. If you exercise somewhere around 5 to 6 hours before you go to bed, you’re likely to start feeling sleepy. This is because exercise raises your body’s temperature for a while. When you’re temperature starts dropping back to normal, it tells the body’s time for you to get some shut-eye.

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