Do you know that the lack of physical activity is linked with a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active (Source: World Health Organization). That’s why throughout your life it is important for you to maintain physical health because it preserves your mental well-being. You should never underestimate how much power physical activities hold. Regular exercises not only strengthens your muscles but it also increases your mental agility, mood and energy levels.

But, today we all see how big of an impact has inactivity left on the development of children. With the popularity of technology and changing lifestyles, your children are becoming less active which in future can lead to serious implications on their physical and cognitive development. So, one question that might be coming in your mind is: Can low fitness levels in young people lead to cognitive problems? The following sections will answer all your concerns related to fitness and cognitive health in early age.

The Link between Poor Fitness to Cognitive Issues in Early Age

The link between poor fitness and cognitive issues in early age is increasingly being proved by scientific research. According to a study from UT Southwestern’s O’Donnell Brain Institute suggests that the lower the fitness level, the faster the decline of your vital nerve fibers in the brain. This deterioration results in cognitive decline which includes memory issues and characteristics of dementia patients. A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies also found  out that participants with higher levels of physical activity as compared to those with lower levels are at a reduced risk of cognitive decline.

Some of the studies have concluded that regular exercise is equivalent to maintenance of your cognitive health and prevention of cognitive decline as one becomes older. These findings prove how important physical fitness is in maintaining your cognitive health and preventing cognitive decline. However, more research is required to fully understand the mechanisms behind all of this so that the development related to effective interventions can be made. 

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How to Improve Fitness for Better Cognitive Health?

From above sections, it must be clear with you that poor fitness plays a big role in causing you cognitive issues at younger age and that’s why with this part of the blog we will share various steps on how you can improve your fitness for better cognitive health:

1. Do Regular Exercise 

Doing exercises regularly is one of the most effective ways through which you can improve your fitness as well as cognitive health. Regular exercise increases your heart rate and pumps more oxygen to your brain and helps with the release of hormones that gives an excellent environment for growth of your brain cells.

Some of the exercises that you can incorporate in your daily routine are:

  • Aerobic exercises: You can do activities like running, swimming or cycling to improve your cardiovascular health and increase brain functions.
  • Strength Training: When you will lift weights or will do resistance training it will enhance both your muscle strength and cognitive health.
  • Flexible Exercises: Doing exercises like yoga or stretching help maintain mobility, reduce stress and improve brain function. 

2. Have Healthy Diet 

A balanced diet is the first step of maintaining both physical fitness and cognitive health in your body. Balanced diet provides your body and brain with the necessary nutrients which they need to function effectively. When you add a mix of different food groups into your meals it becomes nutritious because fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and low in calories which makes them a healthy choice. Consuming lean proteins like chicken, fish, eggs, and beans give you an amazing amount of  protein which is  essential for your body tissue repair. Whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole grain bread provide the body with energy and are a good source of fiber and help with digestion.

3. Get Quality Sleep

Getting good quality sleep is necessary for your fitness and cognitive health. After a  good sleep your brain functions properly and enhances learning, memory and decision-making skills. You can begin your quality sleep by:

  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule: This means that you should go to bed and wake-up at the same time everyday. 
  • Create a restful environment for yourself: You can do it by first keeping your room dark, quiet and cool for a better sleep.

Besides these techniques you can also socialise with others because it is another powerful stress reliever. Spending time with family and friends will boost your mood and reduce stress levels. Social interactions also provide a sense of belonging and self-worth which help you go through  all the stressful times. You can engage yourself in enjoyable activities with loved ones which will serve as a great distraction from stress.
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Yes, if you have a bad fitness routine then it would definitely increase the chances of cognitive issues from a very young age. And, by keeping this thing in mind we have shared some steps which you can follow to improve your fitness for better cognitive health. So, now you don’t have to worry, all you have to do is start with a physical routine and wait for miracles to happen.