Health Nut? Read on…
If you are interested in health and fitness then you are probably familiar with the trends in cardiovascular exercise. In the past the most common form of cardiovascular training was going on a run or a bike ride.
This type of training is known as aerobic exercise, which means that you are exercising with adequate amounts of oxygen. The trending movement now is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which is known as anaerobic training.
Anaerobic training is more intense exercise that can only be sustained for short intervals due to less oxygen to the muscles. One of the main reasons high intensity interval training has become so popular is that it burns more fat, and therefore people lose more weight than with just aerobic exercise.
While both types of cardiovascular training are beneficial, research suggests that one type is better for brain function, and AEROBIC exercises is the winner.
That’s right, the old school idea of going running, biking, rowing, or swimming beats any new trendy way to do cardiovascular exercises.
The Research Says…
Research has shown that sustained aerobic exercises helps promote what’s called neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the process of growing new nerve cells. Up until recently, scientist thought that we didn’t grow new brain cells after birth. This idea has been debunked since we have learned it is possible for each of us to grow new nerve cells.
Studies have shown neurogenesis occurs in the area of the brain responsible for memory formation, known as hippocampus after aerobic exercise. That is why doctors say that runners and people that do cardiovascular training have a lower risk or Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Other benefits that have been shown with aerobic exercises include:
– decreased risk of heart disease
– decreased cholesterol and blood pressure
– reduced chance of Diabetes type 2
– decreased stress
Research has also shown that aerobic exercises reduces anxiety, improves depression, and slows down the aging process. I like my patients to watch this quick video of a TED talk called The Brain-Changing Benefits of Exercise
Simply Move Your Body
All exercise benefits you and has been shown to improve your cardiovascular health, as well as your physical and mental health. There is no reason to debate over which type of exercise is better.
The important thing to remember is that any exercise is better than none. The key to maximizing benefits with health and weight loss is variety. Doing a variety or aerobic, anaerobic exercise, and strength training are all helpful for improving health. Aerobic exercise has the advantage of giving your brain a little more of a boost.