Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.
1. Exercise improves brain function. According to John Ratey, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, "Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning."
2. Exercise may help keep Alzheimer’s away. The Alzheimer's Research Center says that exercise is one of the best weapons against this disease. Something as simple as walking the dog can help.
3. Exercise is a stress reliever. A 30-minute walk will release soothing chemicals in the brain, like serotonin and dopamine. A study done in 2010 discovered that added exercise also affects us on a cellular level, decreasing signs of aging in our cells.
4. Reduced depression. We've already talked about the release of serotonin and dopamine, but exercising relieves depression in other ways too. It is thought that exercise increases the stimulation of neurons to certain areas of the brain that can be damaged by depression. A study in 2010 found that yoga performed three times per week is a good complement to drug treatment for depression.
5. We may learn better after exercise. More complicated forms of exercise, like playing tennis or dancing, provide the biggest boost in the ability to learn. Focusing on coordination and what move to do next will exercise your brain as well as your body. "Like muscles, you have to stress your brain cells to get them to grow," explains Ratey.
6. Self-esteem, body image and feelings of euphoria are other benefits of exercise.
What are you waiting for? Put on those sneakers and go for a walk. You’ll feel better in so many ways.