Nootropics are cognitive enhancers, which have become very popular to help you enhance your mind; however, these pills and powders are not the only way to enhance your cognitive abilities. In fact, you can help increase your brain power cheaper with something as simple as a walk in your local park.
Nootropic supplements, such as Cognitune, are one of the fastest growing markets globally. Last year, more than 1.3 billion US dollars were spent on cognitive enhancers. It is expected that by the year 2024, this amount will increase to 6 billion US dollars. Medical research, however, is showing that one of the best brain-boosting activities is exercising. Exercise, according to numerous studies, offers powerful psychological benefits. It helps to reduce your stress, improve your mood and improve your memory, learning and overall cognitive abilities.
Exercise Works More than Your Muscles
Science has spouted the medical benefits of exercise on the body for years. In fact, medieval and Renaissance doctors documented the numerous health benefits that exercise offers on the entire body; however, the latest research shows that in addition to improving one’s body, exercise can improve your cognitive abilities, including your memory and learning capabilities.
Physicians in the mid-1700s noted that vigorous physical activity provided mental hygiene and mood benefits as well as improved general health. By the 1900s, schools began including physical education as a part of their curriculum because they found that there was a connection between physical fitness and academic achievement.
Medical literature in the 1930s stated that there had been documented studies on the relationship between cognition and exercise. This is when nootropic exercise was first born.
Over the last decade, additional scientific studies have shown that exercise helps improve mental cognition in several ways throughout your lifespan. Exercise helps to enhance one’s central nervous system and its function, improves metabolism in the brain, neural communications, reduces age-related brain tissue loss, prevents neurological disorders and enhances synaptic plasticity in the brain, which all lead to improved brain function.
As you can see, exercise can positively impact almost all aspects of cognition, making it the best nootropic available today.
How Does Exercise Boost Your Brain Power?
Exercise is the most effective nootropic because of the numerous mechanisms that impact the brain directly. Additionally, exercise helps to improve the health of the numerous systems in the body, which can influence one’s cognition.
Exercise Increases Your Circulation – This is one of the best ways to improve cognition. When blood flow is increased in the body, it supplies more nutrients and oxygen to the brain via the blood. Researchers have shown that oxygen and nutrients carried via the blood to the brain are essential for metabolism and oxygenation of the brain tissues. When it comes to increasing circulation in the body, almost any type of exercise will work. This means something as simple as a walk in the park can improve your brain.
Exercise Helps the Body Create Stronger, Better Cells – Research also shows that exercise can help improve your cellular health. Exercise improves the cellular mitochondria, which is the part of the cell that regulates metabolism and helps to produce energy. One of the best exercises for mitochondrial biogenesis is aerobic exercise. Mitochondrial biogenesis is the process where cells increase the amount of energy they can produce. Mitochondrial health and biogenesis are closely related to learning ability, cognitive function and memory, which means every time you take a walk, attend a spin class or do an aerobic exercise, you are causing a nootropic benefit to you brain.
Exercise Helps Improve Your Neural Communications – Exercise can profoundly improve the release and uptake of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the brain and body that helps to send messages. Studies have shown that physical activity significantly increases the production of a number of critical neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, epinephrine and acetylcholine. Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters that influence the mood, while noradrenaline and epinephrine are associated with energy. Finally, acetylcholine is crucial for improved cognition and is often referred to as the learning neurotransmitter. Every time you work out, you are increasing your neurotransmitters and improving your learning ability and memory.
Exercise Can Grow Your Brain – Believe it or not, research has shown that aerobic exercise can increase the volume of your pre-frontal cortex and the medial temporal cortex, which are regions of the brain that are responsible for thinking and memory. Additionally, a recent study done on healthy volunteers aged 60 to 79 years old who led a sedentary lifestyle found that those who participated in regular aerobic exercises had increased brain volume, improved reasoning, problem-solving abilities and memory. The study also had a control group that only did non-aerobic stretching and toning exercises. This group had not increased brain volume or improved cognitive abilities.
The changes in this group were both brain growth and the prevention of brain loss associated with aging. This confirms that regular aerobic exercise will not only make you look and feel great, but it will also help you think better for many years to come.
Exercise Enhances the Brain’s Neuroplasticity – Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to form new synaptic connections and reorganize existing synaptic connections, which is crucial to your learning abilities and cognition. Aging, trauma, illness and injury can all negatively affect the brain’s neuroplasticity. However, physical activity can improve neuroplasticity and improve your cognitive functions and prevent or reverse damage that synapses in the brain.
Exercise triggers a number of biochemical changes in the brain, which increases neurogenesis (the production of new nerve tissues) and neuroplasticity (the production of new synaptic connections). Both of these can have a positive impact on brain functions, especially when exercise is used in combination with cognitive training. When the mind and body are exercised together, the improvements can be quite profound.