There are many advantages of exercise and this is promoted everywhere you look. Slim down for summer, fit into those skinny leg jeans, etc. However the hidden benefits of exercise often go unreported as they don’t necessarily have a snappy headline or visual representation to document. This is a shame as the hidden health benefits of exercise is what is going to keep you alive, physically fit, mentally well, happier as well as delaying or preventing the onset of diseases.
One such example is well documented in the below TED talk from Wendy Suzuki, a professor of neuroscience, recorded in November of 2017. She discusses the benefits of physical activity on protecting your brain from conditions like, Depression, Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia. The most transformative thing you can do for your brain today, is physical activity. She explains this by sharing the experiment she conducted on herself. She asks in this video, if there was one thing that you could do to prevent the onset of such diseases, would you do it? Of course you would. But how many people are aware of or think about the hidden benefits that exercise can offer you? Most people are motivated by the physical changes they can see and chart, as opposed to the long term benefits on your body. Even if you are not seeing the physical changes, note that there are many different hidden benefits that are occurring in your body, preventing diseases or delaying the onset of any conditions.
Wendy Suzuki explains it well, after every sweat inducing workout, she had a mood/energy boost, that’s what kept her going back to the gym. The biggest thing she noticed however was her focus and ability to maintain her attention for longer, her long term memory, was increasing. Better mood, better energy, better memory, better attention. She explains that there are immediate effects on your brain after one workout. Your focus and attention as well as reaction times, all increase after one single workout. Now Wendy is not suggesting everyone needs to become a triathlete to gets these benefits. Wendy explains that the general rule of thumb is 3-4 times a week 30 minutes a session, making sure you get your heart rate up.
So, next time you are staring at yourself in the mirror annoyed at what you see, disappointed you are not losing weight or your measurements are not moving enough, know that you are improving your brains function each workout you do and increasing your brain's health, for the long term.