The brain on exercise

Exercise. A word, an action, a physical decision to create movement.We love it and hate it at the same time. Some people really hate it, and others really enjoy it. It’s a process of pain to pleasure. Something we, in this day of age need to learn and discipline ourselves to love.

When we think about exercise we usually associate it with weight loss or getting fit. A little spoiler alert, exercise is not the most effective way for weight loss. It actually makes you put on weight, but in the form of muscles though so it’s going to help your muscles burn more calories during rest. Diet is a crucial part in your results if you’re looking for weight loss.

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Does this mean that you should boycott exercise? HELL NO! As mentioned, it helps you tone your muscles, increase your resting metabolic rate and it has a huge positive impact on other parts of your body. Not to mention your brain!! It’s activity time to crank up the cookie jar and see why exercise is so powerful when it comes to our brain.

Neurotransmitters – There are three specific neurotransmitters that exercise has a huge impact on, which will effect our body in a positive way.
Dopamine – Responsible for motivation and reward. The dopamine gives us motivation to focus on the reward, whatever it might be. When you brain is running low on dopamine you will feel, well, unmotivated to do pretty much anything. Exercise fires up this bad boy and makes it flow around like a kid at a rave.
Serotonin – This guy alters our mood. Low levels of serotonin leads to sadness, anxiety, and could be so bad to end up in depression. Yes, you guessed right, exercise will boost our serotonin levels as well!
Norepinephrine – Prepares our body for activity or to take action. Pretty necessary if you want to get shit done, or just survive in general. When you get scared your brain will produce a bunch of norepinephrine to get your body ready to take some action in case danger occurs. Exercise will increase these guys since it requires your body to get moving.

These are the holy trinity of mood boosters that our brain needs for us to remain happy, energized, motivated individuals. Exercise lights the fire up and creates a mood boosting party up in there.

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You won’t forget shit –  When we learn new things our brains need to grow.  When we exercise our brain produces a protein called BDNF – Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor. Enough of this guy and we allow our brains to produce more neurons, improve their growth and protect them from cell death, which happens naturally as we age.

Stress out – And I mean like stress ooouuutt. Like adios amigos, bye bye lil fellah, see yah later alligator! When we get stressed a rush of cortisol is bombarded out in our body which is what leads to stress. Exercise reduces the amount of cortisol and will replace it with all these feel goody nice neurotransmitters instead. Isn’t that just lovely?!

Stronger heart – So you can spread more love to everyone around you! Yey! Okay, not really, but exercise will make your heart stronger and bigger. The heart is a muscle so it’s capable of some real gains. A stronger heart means that we get more blood an oxygen flowing around in our body which help us to absorb nutrients better and to keep the right amount of oxygen to our vital organs. This will increase the glow of our skin as well.

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Physical activity should be incorporated at least three times a week for children who are in school learning, and it should also be a part of every grown ups work schedule. Not only will this promote healthier people, but it will also lead to better productivity which in turn will lead to better results, which equals more profit! Nobody can complain about getting more money. Am I right or am I right?

If you try to focus on exercise as more than just a tool to “look sexy af”,  it can be easier to actually get it done. You don’t need to run marathons every day to get the benefits exercise provides. Getting your heart rate up for 30 minutes three times a week will do the trick. Also, something is always better than nothing! A five minute brisk walk or a hard core dance session while cleaning is so much better than just sitting on your sweet booty all day. Boost your brain! Go get moving, RIGHT NOW!!

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