With fitness trends so often in the spotlight, it’s widely accepted that exercise is vital to our mental health. But there’s more to it than just the mood-boosting endorphins. 

At Body Machine Fitness, we use High Intensity Interval Training to tap the mechanisms of the brain that also preserve cognitive function. Comprised primarily of high-intensity and strength training circuits, our HIIT classes are designed to keep the brain and body guessing while activating brain cell production. 

With that premise,  let’s break down the component parts of HIIT and consider the relative impact a variety of movements has on our brain function and performance. 

Breathe into the Brain 

A steady flow of blood to the brain, or cerebral blood flow (CBF)  is essential to your physical and cognitive health. The brain depends on this continuous blood flow to deliver both oxygen and nutrients while removing carbon dioxide and cellular waste. This means the best exercises to maintain and improve brain function are those that elevate your heart rate and increase CBF. A higher heart rate translates to more oxygenated blood flowing to your brain. Any aerobic exercise will increase heart rate, but focused aerobics interposed with interval training and high intensity bursts have the greatest impact on the brain’s enhancement.  

HIIT Amplifies BDNF 

Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a protein that helps create new brain cells and contributes to neuronal plasticity, which is essential for learning and memory. As we age, our neurons begin to deplete and become more difficult to replace. Exercise is the #1 stimulant in the creation of BDNF.  

The best exercises for producing BDNF are those that challenge both the brain and the body. Workouts that are constantly switching focus whether by muscle group, movement style, or tempo keep the brain engaged throughout the session. Body Machine Fitness classes accomplish this with a HIIT format and routines that change every time you come to class.  

You’re Just 6 Minutes Away From Boosting Cognition 

Speaking of the long term, even a short “HIIT” of regular exercise can help prevent neurological decline consistent with age. A recent peer-reviewed study examined BDNF spikes after exercising under different conditions. Based on their findings, working out intensely even for just six minutes produced up to 5 times as much BDNF than prolonged periods of lower intensity exercise.  

Lift Weight, Expand Your Mind 

In addition to aerobic exercises, strength training offers significant benefits. Strength training, such as weightlifting or resistance training, can improve decision-making and problem-solving abilities. This continues to confirm a long-held scientific consensus that exercise is good for improving long-term cognitive function. To this end, BMF classes incorporate weightlifting and resistance training intervals in every class.  

Train Your Brain at Body Machine Fitness 

At Body Machine Fitness, our HIIT classes combine the oxygen boosting benefits of aerobic exercises with the problem-solving power of strength training. Being a BMF devotee benefits your body and mind in profound ways in a unique, endorphin-inducing environment. 

Add our motivating music mix, synchronized light shows, and world-class trainers and you will soon find yourself hooked. Get the complete mind-body fitness package our state-of the-art studios in Plano and Fort Worth. Your first class is free!