There are lots of reasons why a bit of physical exercise is good for you! You don't have to run a marathon, but it is important to do some exercise to keep healthy - and just a little bit every day will help you. Washing the car, doing some gardening, or taking the dog for a walk is all really good exercise.
We've all supposed to do half an hour's exercise, most days, if we can. You don't have to do it all in one go - you could always do that half an hour in three ten-minute chunks.
Make sure you choose a form of exercise that suits you - it might be walking, or doing housework - something you can just do at home. Talk to you doctor if you're not sure. Start off slowly and build up the amount of exercise as you get used to it.
Regular exercise is good for your heart and circulation, so it reduces the risk of stroke and of dementia. Exercise improves brain function, memory and concentration - it keeps your brain sharp. Amazingly, physical exercise even makes the part of your brain grow that is to do with memory and learning.
Your brain needs a healthy supply of blood to work properly, and exercise really improves your circulation.
And exercise can help you manage pain by releasing those feel-good hormones - which improve your mood as well. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and depression, triggering the hormones that work as your body's natural anti-depressants.
Get active with The Brain Charity
- Get active with a disability (NHS Choices)
- Health and fitness - Benefits of exercise (NHS Choices)
- Exercise - advice and an online workout (MS Society)
- Exercise and stroke (Stroke Association guide)
- Physical activity and brain health (Age UK)
- How to look after your mental health using exercise (Mental Health Foundation)
- How physical exercise makes your brain work getter (The Guardian)
- How to Have a Better Brain - Exercise (BBC Radio 4)
You can find more information in our library.