Research has shown that socialization is beneficial to brain health. Exercise cues up the building blocks of learning, and socialization cements them in place, according to John J. Ratey, M.D., author of “SPARK, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain”.
Isolation and loneliness can lead to anxiety, depression, strokes, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s Disease. In fact, people who feel lonely are at twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Family and friends, as support, mitigates this damage.
Exercise by itself, increases the amount of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor) or growth factor for the brain. It also raises the level of cortisol, but in a good way. Increasing small stressors, like exercise, increases your resistance to stress just as exposing yourself to small amounts of bacteria increases your immunities.
Princeton University professor, Elizabeth Gould’s study on exercise and environmental interaction concluded exercise which included social support stopped the stress hormone from interfering with new brain cell growth by the release of serotonin which increased the amount of receptors in the hippocampus.
Joining a group exercise class such as our EPOC(Metabolic Boost), TRX, Barre, Mat Pilates or Zumba adds a feeling of friendship and fun, all of which are good for brain health. Surrounding yourself with likeminded individuals will solidify your health and fitness goals and help you be accountable to those goals.