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Best Exercise for Mood & Brain Health? (Hint: It’s Not Yoga)

It appears that yoga fanaticism has taken over more than just the stretch pants and exercise mat industry. Now it’s laying claim to happiness by insisting that it improves the mood of participants. Maybe someone needs to tell yoga fans that all exercise improves mood, and some actually do this better than yoga.

A recent article appearing on reported that the average yoga enthusiast will shell out $28,800 on yoga classes in a lifetime. That’s in addition to the $33,840 they’ll spend on “yoga essentials” like apparel, mats and headbands.

“But these extravagant costs are worth it for many,” they report. “Eighty-seven percent of people who have tried yoga are in a better mood when they leave the studio — which is why they keep coming back for more.”

If only someone would tell them that if they really want to feel good – and improve their brain health besides – the best overall exercise is aerobic, not isometric resistance exercises like yoga.

It is seen that a person with a healthy mind is generally happy. Being content and happy always results to having a healthy mind and this is not a coincidence. Find out the reason of your stress and try to resolve it to have a healthy brain. You can browse around this site for more about the A Mind For All Seasons is a Center For Brain Health.

To optimize brain power, the brain must be healthy. Your brain is the hardware of your whole being: it plays a pivotal role in your personality, feelings, and behavior. As the seat of your perceptions and experiences, your brain directly and indirectly affects your self-healing process. A healthy brain makes a healthy body for recuperation and regeneration. Brain health is fundamental to natural healing, which begins with the mind first, not the body.

Some of the strongest evidence linking brain health to heart health is that your heart pumps about 20 percent of your blood to your brain, where billions of brain cells are nourished by oxygen and nutrients from your blood. Consequently, if your heart is not pumping well, or if your brain's blood vessels are clogged or damaged, your brain cells may have trouble getting all the nutrients and oxygen they need. In addition, your breathing also affects your brain health because it supplies oxygen to your heart as well as to your brain cells.

Therefore, any condition that damages your heart or blood vessels can adversely affect your brain's blood supply, and hence nutrients to your brain. A healthy heart contributes to a healthy brain. As a matter of fact, a long-term study of 1,500 adults found that those who were obese in middle age were twice as likely to develop dementia in later life, and those who also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure had six times the risk for dementia.

Make some lifestyle changes to improve brain health by engaging in some brain activities to keep memory sharp for a healthy brain.

Your brain health may decline as you age due to altered connections among brain cells. But research has found that keeping your brain active not only increases its vitality but also builds its reserves of brain cells and connections to optimize brain health. In fact, according to studies, you can generate even new brain cells at any age. So it is a matter of "use it or lose it."

Meditation can heal your brain because it is a safe and simple way to balance your emotional and mental states for all-round wellness, and thus ultimately leading to natural healing of the body and the mind. Meditation therapy is especially helpful for gloominess and mind disorders. Use easy meditation techniques to lower blood pressure, to perk up exercise performance, to improve breathing, to promote natural sleep, and to relieve mental stress. Meditation restore you to health.

As we age, we are often put in the position of relinquishing control of certain life aspects to others. And, while this may be necessary in certain instances, the more control you can maintain over your own life and your life choices, the healthier you'll be in both mind and body. Continue to challenge yourself to do as much as possible, even as you age. Aging and brain fitness can go hand in hand.

In this article appearing on, Dr. Brady Salcido cites a hallmark Harvard study which found that aerobic exercise had the most profound effect on neurogenesis and the production of BDNF – Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor - a protein that has a protective and reparative element to memory neurons. This protein is also why people feel so much better after exercising.

The same study found that aerobic exercise such as running, rowing, walking, and cycling, which had lower and more moderate levels of intensity, produced higher levels of BDNF in rats.

Resistance training, on the other hand, did not show considerable elevation of BDNF.

As this article puts it, exercise is nature’s painkiller.

“When you put your body to the test, your brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland produces neurochemicals called endorphins. These are considered nature’s painkillers. They bring about feelings of euphoria and well-being as well as highlight the ‘reward’ circuit of your brain.”

Cardio exercise gets the heart rate up and increases blood circulation throughout your body, which means you burn calories, reduce fat, improve your heart health, and rev your metabolism.

So the next time someone suggests you take up yoga because it’ll make you happy, share a few of these facts with them and invite them to try something that will make them even happier and improve their brain health as well – a nice brisk walk.

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