Both exercising and reducing your stress can have brain-boosting benefits and protect your brain from cognitive decline. There are a few ways to work on reducing your stress, but did you know exercise is one of them?
Yep, when you work out, you’re not only reducing your risk for cognitive decline by getting your blood pumping to your brain, you’re also reducing stress that can negatively impact your cognition.
But how exactly does exercise reduce stress?
First, it simply makes you more resilient. When you get into the regular habit of exercising, you’ll be better able to handle stressors. That’s because exercise itself places stress on your body, especially your cardiovascular system. When your body becomes accustomed to handling the stress of exercise, you can become better at handling other kinds of stress.
When a person gets regular exercise, they respond differently to stressors. The body reacts with less elevation in heart rate and blood pressure. The mind also responds with fewer changes in mood and symptoms of anxiety.
With less stress and anxiety, you’ll also be less vulnerable to depression, another risk factor for cognitive decline.
Is there anything exercise can’t do?