This week marks -Brain Awareness Week' and Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is encouraging Australians to get the sneakers out of the wardrobe to help keep the grey matter healthy and prevent future disorders.
'Although there is a lot more research to be carried out, many experts already state that exercise may be the best preventative method to stop the progression of disease, or improve the quality of health for those living with chronic conditions, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease," explains Alex Lawrence, ESSA spokesperson.
'The Mayo Clinic in the US even go as far as to say that exercise outweighs medication, intellectual games 'brain games", diet and supplements to help prevent Alzheimer's disease."
Over 60% of Australian adults carry out less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day and only one in three children undertook the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity during the day.
'Three out of every five people you know are putting their health, both physical and mental, at risk each day. ESSA is constantly asking why people aren't moving and most times the answer is a lack of time or motivation, will the idea of losing your brain function encourage you to move more?"
'To make this even clearer, a 2014 UK study estimated that physical inactivity accounted for 21.8 percent of the risk of developing Alzheimer's - that is a huge and frightening figure."
'Many people associate exercise with weight loss and good looks, but the benefits run so much deeper. By being active five times a week you could improve many aspects of your overall health, including mental health, and reduce your risk of many chronic diseases and conditions," explains Alex.
For those already living with a condition that affects the brain and its function, exercise is often prescribed as medicine to help improve quality of health.
'Exercise can benefit people who already live with Alzheimer's disease by slowing the progression of disease, improving physical and mental function, slowing or reversing the muscle wasting often associated with advanced stages of disease, improve mood, and reducing symptoms of depression."
Tips for Choosing The Right Physical Exercise For Your Brain
In general, any exercise that is good for your heart and body is great for your brain.
Aerobic exercise is great for body and brain, not only does it improve brain function, but it also acts as a "first aid kit" on damaged brain cells.
Exercising in the morning before going to work not only spikes brain activity and prepares you for mental stresses for the rest of the day, but also produces increases retention of new information, and better reaction to complex situations.
When looking to change up your work out, look for an activity that incorporates coordination along with cardiovascular exercise, such as a dance class or sport.
If you like time at the gym alone, opt for circuit work outs, which both quickly spike your heart rate, but also constantly redirect your attention.
If you do have any concerns about your health or live with a condition contact your local accredited exercise physiologist.
About Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and its members
Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is the peak professional body for exercise and sports science in Australia, ESSA provides national leadership and advocacy on key issues and supports its members and the community through fostering excellence in professional practice, education and training, and research. www.essa.org.au