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How to Increase Oxygen to Your Brain With Exercise

author image Gryphon Adams
Gryphon Adams began publishing in 1985. He contributed to the "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Dark Voices." Adams writes about a variety of topics, including teaching, floral design, landscaping and home furnishings. Adams is a certified health educator and a massage practitioner. He received his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University.
How to Increase Oxygen to Your Brain With Exercise
Walking with friends helps oxygenate your brain and keep exercise commitments. Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Your brain requires oxygen to function, and oxygen reaches your brain via blood. Regular exercise may increase your supply of "tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the region of the brain responsible for thought," notes the Harvard Medical School, and the Franklin Institute adds that walking "increases blood circulation and the oxygen and glucose that reach your brain." Walking provides a more effective means of oxygenating your brain than strenuous exercise. In strenuous exercise, your muscles require more oxygen and glucose, so less is available to the brain. However, physical activity in general improves blood flow to the brain.

Step 1

Schedule a daily time to take a walk. Many people intend to exercise more, but don't get around to it. Listing your exercise commitment on a calendar or planner helps you to get in the habit of making time to exercise.

Step 2

Warm up for your walk by walking in place or walking slowly to increase the blood flow to your brain and muscles. Warming up helps to prepare your body for exercise and reduces your risk of injury.

Step 3

Walk at a moderate pace. If you've been sedentary, start your exercise program with strolls. Slow down if you begin breathing hard. Your body transports oxygen most efficiently when you are working with your flow of air, at a pace that allows you to talk comfortably without gasping. If you're fit, take a brisk walk.

Step 4

Increase the length of your walks to improve the efficiency of the flow of blood and oxygen throughout your body. A moderate to brisk walk increases your cardiovascular efficiency, lung capacity and circulation. The oxygen-rich blood pumping through your body during your walk increases the oxygen supply to your brain. The more you exercise, the more efficient your body becomes at oxygenating your brain.

Step 5

Practice yoga and other gentle exercise that help to deepen your breathing, such as tai chi or qi gong. Practicing regularly improves your flexibility, balance and oxygen intake. Perform these exercises early in your day to limber up and improve concentration, and before bed to promote relaxation and restful sleep.

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