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We’re three seasons into “Stranger Things” and it seems that binge watching has had its
“moment”. There are speculations that sci-fi horror will be back for season four. You could have
a bag of potato chips and watch all the episodes in one go. It would be your safest bet to finish it
on day one so that you don’t get spoiled.


Sounds captivating?


Forget binge watching. ‘Binge racing’ is the term doing rounds in the video streaming
landscape. There’s a unique satisfaction that comes from being the first to finish a web
series.Binge racing is the newest way people are consuming Netflix content and it’s fanatic.
There are 8.4 million binge racers around the world and the United States is at second position
when it comes to top binge racing countries. Well if you intend to spend more time lying on a
couch in your comfy pajamas playing video games or working on a computer, then you’re a
couch potato too.


Time to get a reality check. Ever wondered what would be the consequences?

Sedentary lifestyle is a medical term for a couch potato. Lack of physical activity can be a
precursor to brain health. It has been found in a study that long hours of sitting can be one of the
major reasons for decline in cognition and softening of the brain in middle aged and older
adults. One new case of dementia is detected every four seconds globally.


If that doesn’t scare you then there’s more to unravel. According to researchers there would be
more than 115 million people suffering from dementia by the year 2050. Alzheimer’s disease is
the most common cause of dementia and it’s the sixth leading cause of death in the US. Gen Z
has shifted from fitness for survival to fitness as a privilege. Our brains pay a high prize for
that.Brain and body interrelationship can’t be overlooked. Let’s take a deep insight into this
fascinating tie-in.

❖ Exercise increases heart rate which further pumps more oxygen to the brain.
❖ Daily dozen promotes brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between
cells in important cortical areas.
❖ Release of hormones which helps in inculcating a conducive environment for the
growth of brain cells.
❖ Aerobic style workouts are believed to improve the attention span and thus help you
stay on task longer.
❖ Exercise releases “feel-good” brain chemicals


“The mind is just like a muscle”


Exercise is good for your body, but do you know how good it is for the proper functioning of
your brain ? It has been shown to improve productivity, reduce sick days and out of the
pocket expenses. It is believed that the mind is just like a muscle the more you exercise the
stronger it gets.Physical activity can help people better cope with mental health issues.
Although when you’re having anxiety issues exercise may seem like the last thing on your
to-do list but once you get started it makes a world of difference.


Several studies have shown that the brain possesses the ability to get “high”while running.Yes
you read it right, running can make you high.These chemicals are endorphins and runners have
ascribed them for their feel-good effects for decades. These help in reducing pain and elevating
mood. Science reveals you can produce more endorphins while running.But keep in mind to
push yourself, don’t beat yourself up. If you work out properly then you might start feeling
cognitively stronger. It’s up to you whether you want to” use it or lose it”.


Unraveling the mystery


How does exercise impact the brain?


Brain controls all aspects of our daily lives,yet it remains a mystery.


The effects of exercising on the brain are profound.Neurons are the fundamental cells that make
up the brain. The proteins which are responsible for the survival of these neurons are called
neurotrophins. Exertion caused due to workout compels the body to increase the production of
neurotrophins which further improve cognition and help in keeping the mind sharp. According to
the experts physical activity can help in slowing down the progression of dementia causing
diseases like Alzheimer’s- which has no known cure.


As per the study published in American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry shows a link between
long term moderate physical activity and an increase in volume of the hippocampus- the area of
the brain that deals with the formation of long term memories. This area is the first to be
damaged in Alzheimer’s disease. Despite being a form of physical stress, exercise can assist
relaxation as it reduces the levels of stress causing hormones. This is how exercise can actually
help in improving brain health.


What does it take to stay brain healthy?


There is no health without brain health!


An edition of Physical Activity Guidelines was released in 2018 for Americans, the primaryupdate was a section that highlighted interrelationship between physical activity and brain
health.It stated that all you need to do this is follow the standard exercise recommendation of
150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 30 minutes five times per week is enough to
procure the benefits. Brisk walking can also boost the brain function.


However, the scenario at the ground level tells a different story. According to the department of
Health and Human Services, only 5% of US adults are physically active for 30 minutes everyday
and only one in three gets the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity every week.Health
experts warn that we’re not doing enough to stay healthy.


The word “exercise” may make you think of running laps around the gym. However this isn’t
the case,with every mile you pedal or every step you take, knowingly or unknowingly you’re
enhancing cognitive fitness.


Any exercise is better than none at all. So you need to pick exercise of your choice , the one
which you enjoy doing the most. It can be either walking, swimming, hiking or you can do some
sort of aerobic exercise which will help you in building endurance. Household chores can count
as well.


It doesn’t really require a lot of efforts to keep yourself mentally fit, you need to start with a few
minutes a day. In order to stay consistent you can even start working out with your buddy. This
will help you keep going even on the days when you don’t feel like working out. So if you
want to remain brain healthy, start by working on your physical health first. It can add years to
your life.All of these activities can have a major impact on the vitality of your brain.


Don’t forget to take care of your body, to take care of your mind.


3×10 rule


Our inner couch potato is often our worst enemy. It’s not easy to throw on your workout
clothes and start tackling your fitness goals.


All of us are aware of the potential benefits of working out and a healthy brain. But sometimes
we don’t have enough motivation to stick to our work out regime. Our inner demons tell us to
grab some comfort food or work a few hours more, which makes fitness a tough nut to crack.


In that case remember your ‘why’ and keep going. Due to work overload if you’re short of time
then follow the 3×10 rule.Take a 10 minute walk three times a day. It’s not advisable to go more
than three days without exercise.


All of these mini workouts add up and make a big impact in your overall workout minutes. This
way you will be setting yourself up for a lifetime of better health.It’s time to break those

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