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THE HUMAN BRAIN & THE BENEFITS FROM EXERCISE

Perhaps you have a rough idea about how exercise affects your health, weight, and energy levels, but do you know about its impact on the brain? Before I uncover why having an active lifestyle is important, let's learn a little more about the largest and most complex organs in our body. Let me break it down for you:


THE HEMISPHERES

The Cerebrum is divided into two major parts: the right and left Cerebral hemispheres. These communicate with each other through the Corpus Callosum, (a bundle of fibres between the hemispheres.) Did you know that left-handed people are thought to be more creative? The reason for this is because the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, which is responsible for creativity, the arts, music and imagination. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and is used for: logical and academic areas such as science, problem solving, maths and language. More often or not, you will discover that people who are left handed work in creative arts, whereas right handed people will be in a more academic profession.

THE CEREBRUM

Scientists have found that humans have the largest Cerebrum out of all the animals in the world! Our brain is a fantastic organ and works extremely hard. The Cerebrum is split into four main parts, each responsible for performing different functions that are linked with different senses. Here is a little more information on each of the four areas:

Frontal Lobe – this area of the cerebrum is responsible for problem solving and conscious motor control movements. As well as this, our speech and intellect are other functions which the frontal lobe gives us. It is located at the top of your brain.

Parietal Lobe – the parietal lobe is found at the top of your brain, behind the frontal lobe. It is responsible for the sense of touch.

Occipital Lobe – information from the eyes and visual processing happens here. We can find occipital lobe behind the parietal lobe, at the back of your brain.

Temporal Lobe – This lobe is largely responsible for creating and preserving both conscious and long term memory. It sits close to ear level within the brain and is the smallest of the four lobes.


Did you know that the brain is made up of more than 100 billion nerves that communicate in trillions of connections called synapses? Ok, enough of the science, let's focus on the importance of exercise.


HOW EXERCISE CAN HELP OUR BRAIN


The neurological benefits are clear and significant. Exercise can help provide sharper memory and thinking. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Being physically active also affects the health of the brain cells, aids in the growth of new blood vessels in the brain and even stimulates the growth of brand new cells.


As we exercise, the blood flow increases around your body and your brain is exposed to more oxygen and nutrients. Activity also induces the release of beneficial proteins in the brain. These nourishing proteins keep brain cells (also known as neurons) healthy, and promote the growth of new neurons.


So there we have it! Exercise improves brain function and also acts as a 'first aid kit' on damaged brain cells. See you at the gym!


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