There are many benefits to exercise, even at a moderate level. People are aware of most of the positive effects of incorporating a regular exercise routine into their life, such as having increased cardiovascular health, lower stress levels, and lower risks of weight-related illnesses such as Type II diabetes. The good news is that there may be even more reasons to get motivated. Studies have shown that in addition to all of the other benefits, a steady habit of doing at least moderate activity a few times a week has shown to improve cognitive health as well.
More and more, people are reading articles stating that the list of benefits provided by regular exercise now includes staving off the progression of Alzheimer’s. Depending on which journal you read, the amount of time spent exercising and the number of days per week will vary. Most medical experts agree that a 30-40 minute session of moderate cardiovascular exercise, between 3-4 times a week, is sufficient enough to make a difference in long-term cognitive health.
And it isn’t only for healthy people, either. Members of the population who already have a mild case of cognitive impairment can also benefit from exercise. New studies are being released all the time about exercise and mental effects on the brain. Specifically, the parts of the brain’s white matter, which is responsible for executive function. Additionally, memory can be improved and learning abilities can stay sharp as long as a steady exercise regimen is in place.
There is a reason that cardio is recommended over strength training. There are specific things that happen to the body during aerobic activity. Almost immediately, your heart rate will increase and breathing with speed up. As you progress, your oxygen flow will increase and your body will get rid of excess heat through sweating and breathing harder. As you breathe and sweat you also start eliminating metabolic wastes such as water, CO₂, nitrogen, phosphates, and sulfates. In addition to these short-term benefits, there are long-term ones, as well. By increasing your entire cardiovascular system through blood and oxygen flow, your respiratory system improves.