Bariatric Fitness; Exercise and Brain Health!
For those who have undergone or are considering bariatric surgery, one of the more exciting and less talked about the benefits of weight loss are the impacts on brain health. Obesity has a multitude of negative effects on the brain and with weight loss comes the ability to improve brain function and overall brain health. Along with a healthy weight and nutritious diet, one of the best ways to improve brain health is through regular exercise. The benefits to the brain from exercise are nearly an exact inverse of the negative impacts on the brain from obesity.
It is widely known that obesity negatively impacts the body in several ways. Less commonly discussed is the negative impact sustained obesity can have on brain health and function. The hormones that are released by excessive fat can impair memory and inflammation can reduce cognitive function and cause brain atrophy. Obesity can impact the white matter in the brain, disrupting relay signals between neurons which reduce cognitive function. Excessive weight can lead to decreased executive brain function which negatively impacts motor skills, ability to stay focused, and energy levels. Studies have shown that overweight individuals have a 25% higher chance to develop a brain disorder such as depression and have an increased chance of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, or have a stroke, especially at an older age. Furthermore, the link between stress levels and obesity is self-reinforcing meaning obesity is linked to increased stress levels and increased stress levels lead to overeating and worsening obesity. The quickest way to reverse these negative impacts of obesity is through weight loss coupled with a nutritious diet and a consistent exercise routine.
Everyone knows working out is good for the body, but the brain is actually one of the biggest benefactors of exercise. Activities that increase your cardiovascular rate cause your heart to pump more oxygen to the brain allowing for improved energy, focus, and executive brain function. Exercise releases hormones such as serotonin that aid in nourishing brain health and assists in brain cell growth and repair. Working out also stimulates brain plasticity which allows for improved cellular function and neuronal connections. Increased cellular growth within the hippocampus is linked to improved learning and memory. Furthermore, exercise reduces the risk of brain disease, improves depression, and reduces stress.
As you can see, exercise is not only important for a healthy weight, but for a healthy brain as well. For bariatric patients who are concerned about brain health, taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement along with a daily multivitamin is an excellent way to further improve brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper brain function and can reduce anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and much more. Vita4Life offers an excellent Extra Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil supplement that contains high concentrations of DHA and EPA fatty acids. Add this fish oil supplement to a quality diet and workout routine and your brain will be thanking you!
Now get out there and exercise and experience all of the brain-boosting benefits!