Little Known Benefits of Exercise to Encourage Weight Loss
If you find yourself forgetting things frequently, a 40-minute walk could be just what you need. A study conducted at the University of British Columbia found that aerobic exercise had a significant impact on memory in older women, with rates of memory recall improving greatly. Similar research has found that muscle-memory is improved by regular exercise, so if you want to learn a new skill such as playing an instrument, a quick burst of cycling or a similarly intense exercise may help you to retain the skill much better. Similarly, a study published in PNAS recorded that senior citizens who exercised regularly reduced their risk of dementia and increased the abilities of the hippocampus, the part of the brain linked to memory. By comparison, an inactive group of seniors showed shrinkage of the brain and increased dementia risk. The benefits to the mind continue: The British Journal of Sports Medicine found that 10-40 minutes exercise before taking a test or exam can improve focus and self-control. This has been attributed to exercise causing oxygen-rich blood to circulating to the frontal lobe of the brain, the area associated with concentration and reasoning.
If you want to reverse the effects of indulging in some less-than-healthy foods, the University of Minnesota has some good news for you. It was found that when rodents who were fed a junk food diet exercised regularly, they reversed the cognitive decline this poor diet had caused. Even better, it improved their memory functions compared to non-exercisers. This is a similar situation with alcohol. A junk food diet and high alcohol intake can also damage skin health, and skin conditions such as psoriasis can affect 1 in 40 of us. However, two hours of intense activity per week has been found to reduce the risk of this condition by up to 30 per cent. Another unusual benefit may be useful to bear in mind next time you go for a jab; ongoing research at Iowa State University has led to the conclusion that exercise may help to make flu-jabs more effective, since exercise encouraged circulation and helped the vaccine to move away from the site of the injection.
If you feel you need to relax and unwind more, regular exercise could help you. Aerobic exercise relaxes muscles, reduces the body’s response to stress, and encourages mood-regulating neurotransmitters. As such, exercise is both therapeutic and healthy. A more unusual bonus is something termed a ‘coregasm’. Like the well-known endorphin rush, this is an exercise induced orgasm that can happen unexpectedly, but particularly when doing crunches, biking and spinning, or weight-lifting. Finally, we all know exercise decreases health risks, such as risks of cancer and heart disease, but research in Taiwan found that just 15 minutes of exercise a day could increase life expectancy by a whole three years.