If you would like to cope better with stress, feel better, improve your memory, enhance creativity and become smarter, the first step is to undertake some physical exercise.
It is now known that our brains have little evolved in the last 12,000 years, none the less, since humans have been around for millions of years, 12,000 years is not that long in relative terms.
‘Back then our brain had the same predispositions and emotions as today, however, our lives have changed considerably compared to those of our ancestors.’
Back then our brain had the same predispositions and emotions as today, however, our lives have changed considerably compared to those of our ancestors.
Since the beginning of time, mankind has been forced to move around to find food and to survive, whereas today we can simply click on the internet for food to arrive effortlessly at our door.
But one thing has not changed: to ensure our optimal functioning and for the well-being of our brain, we need to exercise and move around just like our ancestors did.
Why is this so?
Three elements are essential in our brain for our well-being and all three also act on our state of mind.
It effects our energy, attention and concentration. If our norepinephrine (also called noradrenaline) levels are low, we feel tired and a bit sluggish. If, on the other hand, there is too much, we can feel a little hyperactive, a little agitated, and have difficulty settling down and concentrating.
This is the centre of our reward system. It plays a key role in the quality of our motivation and our desire to move forward. Dopamine helps us to focus better, promotes concentration and increases our ability to make decisions.
It keeps the brain's functions in balance, creates a state of calm, stability and a feeling of emotional well-being. Lack of serotonin can lead to stress and anxiety.
Many antidepressants contain all three elements.
Of course, the functioning of the brain is much more complex, and these essential ingredients are only part of what is needed for the brain system to function properly.
However, irrespective of the brain’s complexity, let's reiterate that these three components are essential and important in understanding how we feel and our emotional well-being.
So how can we increase and manage the secretion and presence of these three elements in our brain?
- Through PHYSICAL EXERCISE -
Please note that drugs are not the only remedy!
🏃 Regular cardiovascular exercise can effectively increase the level of these three well-being elements.
In concrete terms, the benefits from physical exercise will be felt for longer, in the body and in the brain, the more regularly and frequently it is done. Occasional exercise will only allow the benefits of wellness to last for a few hours.
But if physical activity is regular, and more specifically focused on cardio-vascular training, then the benefits will be felt for a much longer period after the workouts.
Regular physical activity then sets up a permanent sense of well-being.
We need to be extremely mindful of this because these days we often lead a very sedentary lifestyle that generates a constant source of stress.
So, let's be clear on this, for your physical and mental well-being, and your mood, it's essential to exercise on a regular basis!
Of course, you must be careful and don't set the bar too high.
Une activité physique sur mesure
🏃♀️ You can start by taking the stairs instead of the lift, go for walks and do short distances by foot.
🚴 Perhaps once a week you can walk or cycle home from work instead of taking public transport.
Ideally, you should aim to do at least 40 minutes of cardiovascular exercise in which you increase your heart rate, feel your heart beating faster and need to focus on your breathing, three times a week.
Any sport that achieves these results is good: cycling, running, brisk walking etc.
The best thing is to find a sport that you enjoy so you'll keep it up for a long while.
But even a good 20-minute brisk walk three times a week will bring noticeable benefits.
Un peu d’exercice, c’est toujours mieux que de l’inactivité. Le plus dur c’est souvent de s’y mettre. Mais une fois que vous aurez ressenti tout le bien-être physique et mental obtenu grâce à vos efforts il sera nettement plus facile d’y retourner.