Exercising regularly can help you look and feel better, but there are other benefits as well.
Exercise can also improve your mood, sleep quality, and brain function! In this post, we will discuss 6 reasons to exercise because your brain needs it!
Exercise Releases Endorphins
Exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals that make you feel good. Benefits of exercise for your brain include the release of endorphins and a boost in mood.
Endorphins are critical to your body's self-maintenance and are released during physical activity. Physical activities or workouts that use large muscle groups in the arms, legs, and hips are best for triggering endorphin release.
Endorphins interact with opioid receptors, which is why they can reduce pain and improve mood. For this reason, endorphins are sometimes called the body's natural painkillers and antidepressants.
Even people with chronic pain can experience relief from endorphins. People with chronic pain often have lower levels of these positive chemicals in their system, which can contribute to depression and anxiety.
Exercise Releases Dopamine, Serotonin, and Norepinephrine
Benefits of exercise for your brain include the release of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine – all chemicals that affect mood. Exercise increases neurotransmitters in the brain.
The activity stimulates the release of neurotransmitters that affect mood and also helps the brain use these chemicals more efficiently.
Dopamine is essential for feeling pleasure, motivation, and focus.
Serotonin is linked to relaxation and happiness.
Norepinephrine affects our cardiovascular system, arousal levels, attention span, sleep patterns, and moods.
It's hard to feel depressed when you're exercising!
People Who Exercise Regularly Have a Lower Risk For Alzheimer's Disease
Exercise is a form of “brain training” because it challenges different parts of the brain to work together more efficiently. Benefits of exercise for your brain include an increased ability and lower risk for Alzheimer's disease, which affects memory and cognitive function.
People who regularly engage in physical activity have better overall health than those who do not. As we age, our risk of developing Alzheimer's disease increases. Benefits of exercise for your brain include a lower risk because the activity improves cardiovascular health and strengthens neural connections in the brain.
People who have exercised throughout their lives maintain sharper cognitive function as they age than those who are more sedentary. Benefits of exercise for your brain include an improved memory that helps keep your mind sharp.
Regular Physical Activity Benefits Mental Health in Multiple Ways
Regular physical activity can help with depression by increasing the levels of serotonin in your brain. Benefits of exercise for your brain include improved mental health from regular physical activity, as well as helping your brain use these chemicals more efficiently.
While exercising, you'll notice your mood improve within just a few minutes. This is because physical activity causes your brain to release serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Not only does exercising improve your mood, but it also enhances self-esteem. People who exercise regularly feel better about their bodies. It's as simple as that!
Exercise Benefits Mental Health by Reducing Stress Hormones
Physical activity helps people sleep better because it reduces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Benefits of exercise for your brain include reduced levels of stress hormones, which are linked to depression and anxiety. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk factors for mental health disorders.
Stress causes the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that can be beneficial in short doses. Benefits of exercise for your brain include lower levels of cortisol, which is linked to depression.
Over time, too much cortisol can lead to more severe health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes. Exercising regularly has been proven to reduce the amount of cortisol in your body.
Furthermore, adrenaline is a stress hormone that prepares your body for physical activity. Benefits of exercise for your brain include lower levels of adrenaline, which is linked to anxiety disorders.
Exercise Benefits Mental Health Through Better Sleep
Regular physical activity can also help you sleep better by increasing the amount of serotonin in your brain. Increasing the levels of serotonin in your brain also improves mood, which can help relieve symptoms of depression.
Also, exercise causes your body to release the hormone melatonin, which prepares you for sleep. Melatonin helps regulate your circadian rhythm and sets the sleep/wake cycle.
Healthy sleep patterns are essential for maintaining brain health because sleep is when your brain consolidates memories and cleans itself of toxins. The brain can't rest and repair itself if you don't get enough sleep, which can affect your ability to learn new things.
The benefits of exercise for your brain are many and varied. This blog post has talked about the positive effects that physical activity can have on mood, memory, sleep quality, and much more.
If you're looking to make some changes in your life or just want a little boost from time to time, consider incorporating an hour of exercise into your day! We've also included links below so you can read even more about how this type of “brain training” will help improve not only mental health but overall wellness as well.
What other forms of relaxation do you find helpful? Let us know by commenting below or connecting with us online!