The potential for improvement in our lives by moving more is great. Simply standing up changes that way your body uses energy, circulates blood, and also how you think! Exercise can improve concentration, learning, focus and memory and can even prevent and treat mental illnesses. But taking advantage of this will require a paradigm shift. We need to incorporate movement into our daily lives. Here a key to making that happen - build your fitness.

The foundation of health and performance is your aerobic system. The aerobic system is the system that uses oxygen to create energy that fuels most of the activities in your life, from walking to running to playing music to writing a test, or to solving a math problem in your mind. Low to moderate physical activity is the key to building up your aerobic system and unlocking all the related benefits.

Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, hiking and other activities will build up your cardiovascular system (heart, lungs, blood, blood vessels) and the aerobic energy pathway inside your muscles. All of these activities and other similar forms of exercise like yoga or even household chores will all help to develop your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. These activities enhance the transport system your body uses to get oxygen from the environment to the muscle cells where it is used to create energy. When you put stress on your muscles, heart and lungs by pushing them through activities like walking, jogging, running, swimming, or cycling for periods of time that are longer than they are used to, you stimulate adaptation in the system and make it more efficient.

Today's POWER-UP: What type of exercise is best for your brain?

THERE ARE THREE MAIN TYPES OF EXERCISE. AEROBIC EXERCISE LIKE RUNNING, HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING LIKE SPINNING, AND RESISTANCE TRAINING LIKE LIFTING WEIGHTS.

RESEARCHERS IN FINLAND LOOKED AT THE IMPACT OF EXERCISE ON THE BRAINS OF RATS. THEY FOUND THAT 6-8 WEEKS OF AEROBIC EXERCISE LED TO THE GROWTH OF NEW NEURONS IN THE HIPPOCAMPUS (A PART OF THE BRAIN ASSOCIATED WITH LEARNING AND MEMORY).

HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING HAD A SMALL, NON-SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE BRAIN AND RESISTANCE TRAINING DID NOT CHANGE NEURAL STRUCTURES IN THE HIPPOCAMPUS.

SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOU? IF YOU WANT TO OPTIMIZE YOUR BRAIN AND KEEP IT HEALTHY YOU SHOULD WALK, JOG, SWIM, OR HIKE REGULARLY!