Benefits of exercise on the brain
We all are aware of the fact that exercise makes us feel better. However, most of us have no idea why! We assume that it is because we are burning off stress or boosting endorphins. But the true reason we feel better when we exercise is that it makes the brain function at its best! So, this benefit is more important than what it does for the body. Building muscles, conditioning the heart and lungs are essentially side effects! The real point of the exercise is to build and condition the brain. In today’s technology-driven, plasma-screened world, it is easy to forget that we were born to move. Nowadays, we have a tendency to spend most of our time sitting behind a table or lying on the couch, and we have basically removed the movement from our lives!!
This has become a norm in the past century, but we must remember that we did not evolve for this type of sedentary lifestyle, we evolved as hunter-gatherers. Our ancestors had to walk 5 to 10 miles on an average day, just to be able to eat!! Since it takes tens of thousands of years for our biology to evolve, you can see there is a huge mismatch between our lifestyle and our genes. Today, we no longer hunt and gather and not only is that a problem, but it poses one of the biggest threats to our continued survival!
A large amount of the world population is suffering from obesity and many of them are suffering from type 2 diabetes, a preventable disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition!! We are literally killing ourselves, and it is a problem throughout the world. The most disappointing thing is that inactivity is killing our brains, as well as physically shrinking them! Some people might raise a question that why would our brain shrink if we do not move as much. But the question we need to ask ourselves is that why do we need a brain at all!! Some people might argue that brains are there to come up with different ideas or to analyze different situations. But the answer is that only a mobile creature needs a brain!
The brain’s main purpose is to perform complex motor movements. For example, a Koala used to have a much bigger brain than it does now! However, once it evolved its digestive system to survive on just eucalyptus leaves, it meant that less movement was required. The fewer complex movement also meant less brain was required, so the koala’s brain physically shrunk!! This example is also applicable for the most intelligent animal, i.e. We humans! So, we should perform exercises on a regular basis to keep our mind and the body, active and healthy.