Positive Effects of Exercise On Your Brain
On average, 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by the second week of February. Year
after year, many Americans put weight loss at the top of their New Year Resolution list. Of
course, committing to improving your physical health by losing weight is a good thing. The
deeper issue is that way too many people place self-worth solely in the number on the scale.
Unfortunately, many people think there's some connection between weight loss and
happiness. If only you could lose a few more pounds, you'd feel better - - right? Let's flip this
mindset! Instead of setting a weight loss goal, focus on things you can GAIN when it comes to
improving your mental and physical health through exercise. Here are a few things that happen
to your brain when you exercise.
Increased Blood Flow
Exercise increases blood flow throughout your body. Increased blood flow to your brain
can help improve your focus. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can help produce
new brain cells that boost memory.
In addition to blood flow, exercise triggers the release of neurotransmitters like
dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, and glutamate, which can provide an instant mood boost! All
of these individual neurotransmitters play different roles. For example, dopamine is the "feel
good" hormone, whereas serotonin plays a big role in relaxation.
Moderate exercise can trigger growth factors that recycle your brain. One of the brain growth
factors associated with exercise is BDNF, which activates brain stem cells to convert into new
neurons. MRFs (Muscle Regulatory Factors) are activated during exercise for additional
The good news is you don't need to train for a marathon to achieve the health benefits of
exercise. A short 20-minute walk or a jog around the neighborhood can have some amazing
effects on your overall health, wellness, and mood!
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