Whether you’re into running local nature trails or lifting heavy weights in the gym, science says that exercise boosts your brain’s well-being. Here’s how your noggin reaps the benefits of movement.
It Brings More Oxygen to the Brain
The more your body moves, the more you pull oxygen into your lungs through respiration. From there, your heart pushes blood through your circulatory system, and with this step, the oxygen molecules inside your red blood cells deliver it directly to your major organs, including your brain. When your brain has more oxygen, your neurons and cells perform better.
It Helps With Concentration & Focus
In addition to improving hand-eye coordination and balance, exercise enhances the brain’s ability to focus. When our brain registers that we are in motion, the neurons (the brain’s cells) light up and activate, and that leads to better memory, concentration, and overall improved mental focus.
It Increases Happy Hormones
Exercise stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin – also known as the “happy hormones”! You’ll recognize dopamine from the feel-good effects you experience following physical activity. Exercise is the quickest way to lift your mood and ramp up your brain’s happy hormones.
Feeling down? In a bit of a funk? Lace up your sneakers and get some movement in, even if it’s just a fast-paced walk around the neighborhood with your four-legged friend or a few push-ups and sit-ups in your apartment. Some research has shown us that endorphins start to release in the body at around the 30-minute mark during physical exertion – so hang in there!
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