The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even lol on occasion.
Generally speaking, we can all use a little bit more exercise in our daily lives. The latest adult obesity rate in the U.S stands at 42%, which marks a staggering 26% increase since 2008. While diet is a big reason for these numbers, our sedentary lifestyle is also a big contributor.
Over 60% of U.S adults are not meeting the recommended amounts of physical activity and 25% are not active at all. That’s right—1 out of every 4 Americans is statistically doing ZERO physical activity. They are waking up, sitting in a car to go to work, sitting at a desk all day, then sitting in their car again to commute back home, and finally sitting on the couch for some Netflix… then doing it all over again the next day.
The solution? Obviously, people need to exercise more. And honestly, it doesn’t have to be an insane increase.
The official recommended amount of physical activity isn’t that much exercise. It’s certainly not as if the recommendation in this country is a daily CrossFit class. That’s crazy. No one is recommending that you do that.
The recommended amount of exercise is just 2.5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week. That is less than 30 minutes a day! Everyone has 30 minutes to spare a day!
But are there more potential benefits to exercise than just shrinking waistlines, improved body composition, and better metabolic health? Could working on your brawn also have some positive impacts on your brain?
For a long time, pop culture would have you believe that brain and brawn were mutually exclusive. You can either be the super fit athlete or the super smart nerd—but you couldn’t really be both.
Well according to this study, there seems to be a pretty significant connection between our skeletal muscle and our brain. That’s right—muscle tissue could actually improve your memory, mood, cognition, and executive function.
The key takeaway? The benefits of exercise are not limited to the impact they will have on your body weight, metabolic health, and cardiovascular health. Regular exercise is so much more than that. And now there is evidence to suggest that the benefits can actually have positive impacts on your brain as well.
So next time someone asks you why you love doing bicep curls or taking Peloton classes so much, just tell them it is because you want to get smarter.
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