The Secret Benefit of Exercise

The Secret Benefit of Exercise

brain benefits of excercise

There are many physical benefits to exercise – improved cardiovascular functioning, growth of lean muscle mass, and increased lifespan. However, one of the most important benefits to exercise is often overlooked. Exercise is one of the most effective and stimulating ways to improve your mental health. Even modest amounts of exercise are proven to relieve stress and boost overall mood. Regular exercise also has a positive and definitive impact against depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD, and the typical challenges life brings.

Improvements in mood associated with exercise are a hypothesized effect of increased blood circulation to the brain and hormones released by the body. Exercise has helped alleviate low self-esteem and social withdrawal, along with reducing anxiety and depression. Most dramatically, exercise allows individuals to improve sleep patterns, have increased energy throughout the day, and stress relief. Learn more here.

Exercise promotes changes in the brain by creating new activity patterns and neural growth. Increases in serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine associated with exercise increase focus and attention – improving motivation, concentration, and memory. Physical tension caused by stress can be relieved through the intense engagement and then relaxation of your muscles. Most notably, exercise increases overall wellbeing through the release of endorphins.

So next time you’re feeling down and considering skipping out on exercise for the day, Michael Otto, PhD encourages you to exercise anyway to experience the exercise effect. “Many people skip the workout at the very time it has the greatest payoff. That prevents you from noticing just how much better you feel when you exercise. Failing to exercise when you feel bad is like explicitly not taking an aspirin when your head hurts. That’s the time you get the payoff.” Michael Otto, PhD is a professor of psychology and researcher at Boston University.

Next time you hit the exercise slump, think about the positive effects that regular exercise gives you –let that motivate you to a more mindful, stress-free, and healthy future.

5 Comments
  • Ada Yerman
    Posted at 09:11h, 19 April Reply

    Wow. I think this may be true! Today, I really did not feel like going to my class (Fuse 45). I have not slept in 2 days – not sure why, and feel as if a cold is coming on. I went anyway. Although I did not do my best and did not stay for the Fuse finisher, I do feel better that I went and gave it a go.
    AY

    • Samantha Friedman
      Posted at 09:50h, 19 April Reply

      Ada, thanks for sharing. We’re so glad you pushed through and realized the incredible benefits of a Fuse45 class. Keep up your good work!

  • Rock Steady Boxing Affiliates
    Posted at 23:28h, 22 February Reply

    I really appreciate your post. I think exercise is the best way to improve mental health. It will help you to change your negative thinking, makes your mind peaceful, and gives you true peace and happiness.

  • Millie Hue
    Posted at 00:14h, 28 June Reply

    My boyfriend has been bugging me about getting into fitness classes together. Ever since we’ve been together, we just became bigger. I guess I just cook delicious food. Kidding aside, I wanted to lose weight, too. So thanks a lot for helping me understand that being able to exercise will not only give me the body that I wanted. Like you said, it can also improve the functionality of my brain such as its concentration and motivation.

  • Lavi Mare
    Posted at 20:07h, 19 September Reply

    I have been thinking about whether or not I should try working out, but I seriously do not have a reason to since I am pretty slim. That is until I saw this and learned that it also changes the pattern of neural activity in the brain and releases hormones that improve concentration, motivation, and memory. I lack those three things, so maybe I should opt for a workout. Thank you!

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