The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Exercising Will Make You Smarter

Exercising is not only good for the body, it is good for the brain. This is because it improves blood flow to the brain and boosts the memory. Dr Apolla Ahimbisibwe, a general practitioner at Mulago hospital, points out that exercise keeps the brain cells young, which reduces the risk of neurodegeneration (brain cell decline). Therefore, people who exercise regularly have a better memory than their sedentary counterparts.

"This might not be realized in the earlier stages of life but if one keeps exercising, they tremendously reduce their chances of suffering from memory loss conditions in their old age," Ahimbisibwe adds.

Exercising regularly also helps people think better as it helps in dealing with stress, depression and anxiety. Dickson Mugisha, a sports scientist, notes that "the body is meant to move; so, the more it moves, the better one feels and the better their body and mind perform."

Mugisha adds that if children performed an exercise prior to the start of their school day, their mood and focus would be greatly boosted. They would concentrate for longer periods, take in more information and remember most of what they study.

"The older people should also remember that exercises are a powerful anti-aging tool that supports proper brain functioning," says Dr Ahimbisibwe.

"Older people that engage in regular exercises have much lower chances of suffering memory loss, Alzheimer's, dementia and do better in cognitive tests."

So, the next time you have a paper to write or a problem to solve, consider hitting the gym for a good work-out or hit the pavement for a good run - this will foster the release of neurotransmitters that help enhance problem solving.

Generally, exercises increase your brain's ability to reach its highest potential.

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