The Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises for the Brain
When we think of exercise, we often focus on the physical benefits. However, bodyweight exercises, also known as calisthenics, have shown to have a positive impact on mental health and cognitive function as well.
One of the primary benefits of calisthenics for the brain is stress reduction. Exercise, in general, has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Bodyweight exercises, in particular, can help release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters.
Research has also shown that calisthenics can decrease cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, participants who engaged in a calisthenics-based workout experienced a significant decrease in cortisol levels compared to those who did not exercise.
Improved Cognitive Function
Another benefit of bodyweight exercises is improved cognitive function. According to a study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, participants who engaged in bodyweight exercises had improved cognitive function compared to those who did not exercise.
The study also found that bodyweight exercises were particularly effective in improving executive function, which involves tasks such as planning, decision-making, and problem-solving.
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt in response to new experiences. Bodyweight exercises have been shown to increase neuroplasticity, which can have long-term benefits for the brain.
A study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience found that participants who engaged in bodyweight exercises had increased grey matter volume in the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain associated with executive function and decision-making.
In addition to reducing stress, bodyweight exercises can also improve mood. According to a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology, participants who engaged in calisthenics-based workouts reported improved mood compared to those who did not exercise.
The study also found that the mood-boosting effects of exercise were particularly strong in the hours immediately following the workout.
Exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on memory, and bodyweight exercises are no exception. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that participants who engaged in a calisthenics-based workout had improved memory recall compared to those who did not exercise.
The study also found that exercise had a greater impact on memory recall in older adults, suggesting that bodyweight exercises may be particularly beneficial for cognitive function as we age.
While bodyweight exercises are often thought of as a way to improve physical health, their benefits extend far beyond that. From reducing stress to improving cognitive function, bodyweight exercises have a positive impact on the brain.
Incorporating bodyweight exercises into your workout routine can not only help you achieve your fitness goals but can also have long-term benefits for your mental health and cognitive function.