We know that movement is important for its physical benefits to the body, but we can’t ignore the crucial benefits of aerobic exercise to brain health, mood, and cognitive function.
Impact of Aerobic Exercise on the Brain
First of all, it’s good to know that there are many ways exercise is beneficial to us. Even apart from the obvious positive impact it has on the health of bones, muscles, joints, and the heart, it’s critical to the health of the brain, too. Aerobic exercise causes a rise in the heart rate, which increases oxygen to the brain. Even a mere 20 minutes of exercise each day can amplify memory functions and information processing, leading to better cognition when doing tasks, or improving accuracy. Exercise also reduces stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which helps with our behavioral health and overall mood. That’s what people mean when they talk about a “runner’s’ high.” Exercise keeps us sharp and happy!
Your Brain on Music
Music is known for its overwhelming cognitive benefits. In fact, music has been so well-studied in this area, that there is now an entire discipline dedicated to the study of music’s effect on the nervous system. This discipline is known as neuromusicology, and it continues to prove that every part of the brain is influenced by music, and that music helps us avoid cognitive and memory decline as we age. The hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that is responsible for long-term memories, is especially active while a person is listening to music. Also, just as exercise does, music lowers that stress hormone, cortisol, and increases dopamine, which is known as the “feel-good hormone,” giving us a mood boost.
Dance and the Brain
Another way to lower the risk of dementia and increase cognitive function is through dance. Dance combines the use of the body, mind, and social functions all at once, keeping us on our toes –– sometimes quite literally! Using PET imagery, researchers are learning that dance activates multiple regions of the brain, including sensory and motor circuits. Activating those circuits helps keep executive function sharp, and increases memory capacity. In fact, dance therapy is growing in popularity as a treatment for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The action of movement to music also stimulates the brain’s reward center, creating feelings of happiness and peace.
Any one of these activities alone would be a boon to the brain, full of positive effects and good feelings. It’s plain to see that the combination of this tremendous trifecta will bring three times the promised benefits. Through this enjoyable exercise program, you will enjoy sharper cognitive function, better memory, and lower stress in the exhilarating triple-whammy of fitness, music, and dancing.
Wysefit offers the satisfaction of having a fun workout to blast through, all while knowing that you’re doing everything you can to protect your brain health –– for now, and for the future.
Try our ‘Move to Music” Series – total body workouts set to fun Latin and African beats.
We are working on bringing more music-based workouts to our platform (Belly Dancing Series are coming in September!), so stay tuned in for our updates through the Facebook page.