Need Inspiration to Work Out? This Little Known Benefit Might Be the Motivation You Need.

As part of my resolve to do the things that will make myself proud a year from now, I decided to splurge on a gym membership.  Will I actually be more consistent this around?

I think so...

Why? Because I have discovered a new motivation to keep active that goes far beyond the desire to have the best summer body.  

This new source of motivation might just be exactly what I need to develop a lifelong habit of working out.  Don't get me wrong, the prospect of having a flat tummy is tempting but, I'll be honest, it doesn't always motivate me enough to get in the gym.   I'm one of those people who are more motivated by avoiding a negative consequence versus going after a positive outcome.  Having a lean body is a positive outcome that I'm interested in.....but I obviously don't want it bad enough to work out regularly.

Ever since  I learned of a little-known benefit of having an active lifestyle, I've suddenly developed the urge to get moving.

All of us are in the process of aging..... no matter how old we are. Some of us are in the earlier stages of aging, others of us are a lot further along.  Even if you're still in your twenties ready to build your ideal life, you should still be aware that your brain will start to shrink as you age.  I don't mean to freak you out or anything but it's a natural part of life. 

Some of us take collagen to help combat the collagen loss that begins when we reach our 20's.  I also want you to know that you can do something to slow down or even reverse age-related cognitive decline (caused by brain shrinkage).   Measurable cognitive decline starts at around the age of 60.  But even if you're way younger, you've probably experienced a lesser version of decline (in the form of brain fog).  

Brain fog can affect just about everybody, especially in this digital age of mindless scrolling and excess content consumption.  If you've ever experienced brain fog (lack of focus, clarity, concentration) you know that it's not an ideal mental state.  I imagine cognitive decline to feel like a more severe version of brain fog.  But according to a recent study, cardio might be one of the most powerful natural remedies for age-related brain decline.

The study involved 120 men and women who averaged about 66 years of age.  They divided the participants into 2 groups.  One group engaged in stretching exercises while the other group did 40 minutes of cardio (3X/week).   At the end of the experiment, the researchers measured their brain volume and discovered that those who ran 3X/week experienced an increase in the size of their brain. Specifically, they achieved an increase in the hippocampus which is the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.  The participants also performed better on memory tests that were provided at the end of the experiment.

You might be saying to yourself...."I'm young now and my memory is fine....I can put off exercise until I get much older."  While this statement is probably true, you're operating under the assumption that you can easily start a workout habit as a senior citizen.  It's hard enough to have the energy to go to the gym now....imagine how hard it will be to start doing 40 minutes of regular, intense cardio after the age of 50!

The time to start is now.

And you won't have to wait for decades to enjoy the mental health benefits of working out.  If you start moving your body today, your brain will experience increased blood flow which will lead to better concentration, improved memory ad enhanced mood.....and all of this can start to happen today.  

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