Exercising for 15 minutes can help to create an optimal brain state for mastering new motor skills, says a new study by McGill University, Montréal. The study revealed that exercise performed immediately after practising a new motor skill can improve its long-term retention. And a minimum of 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise can increase brain connectivity and efficiency.
More than this, the benefits of exercise are far more than you can ever think of. Fitness experts say that a regular exercise routine, coupled with a healthy diet, helps you lose weight. Many also say that doing squats is one of the best weight loss exercises you can do either at home or even at the gym. If done properly, squats, also called the ‘King of exercises, help tone your thighs, glutes, calves and seat. It helps engage all the core muscle groups, increase stability and strength.
Marc Roig, senior author of the study, had earlier demonstrated that exercise can consolidate muscle or motor memory. This time, he sought to discover what went on in the brain as the mind and the muscles interacted. The researchers discovered that those who had exercised were consistently able to repeat the “pinch task” connecting different areas of the brain more efficiently and with less brain activity than those who hadn’t exercised.
Here are some of the other benefits of exercise, from weight loss to overall fitness and health.
It can help you beat addiction
A study conducted by the University of Buffalo identified a key mechanism on how aerobic exercise can help impact the brain in ways that may support treatment and prevention of addiction. “Several studies have shown that, in addition to these benefits, aerobic exercise has been effective in preventing the start, increase and relapse of substance use, including alcohol, nicotine, stimulants and opioids,” said Panayotis (Peter) Thanos, the senior author of the study.
It can reduce risk of stress
A study done by Brigham Young University in the US found that running can stave off the negative effects of stress and protect the brain region responsible for learning and memory. “Exercise is a simple and cost-effective way to eliminate the negative impacts on memory of chronic stress,” said Jeff Edwards, associate professor at Brigham Young University.
It’s good for your arteries
Researchers from the University of Texas found that different sizes of arteries are affected differently by varying amounts of exercise. While exercising for two to three days a week for about 30 minutes may be sufficient to minimise stiffening of middle-sized arteries, exercising for four to five days a week is required to keep larger central arteries youthful.
It can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer mortality
Researchers from the University of Sydney found that walking at an average pace was associated with a 20% risk reduction for cancer mortality. Walking at a brisk or fast pace was associated with a risk reduction of 24%. A similar result was found for risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, with a reduction of 24% for walking at an average pace and 21% walking at a brisk or fast pace, compared to walking at a slow pace.