Exercise and its Impact on the Brain

By Heather Darling

The mind and the body are linked. When you improve your physical health, you’ll automatically experience greater mental health.

mindandbody
It’s amazing what physical exercise can do. Not only can it improve physical functions and abilities, but did you know that taking care of your body is a powerful first step towards mental and emotional health, as well? The mind and the body are linked. When you improve your physical health, you’ll automatically experience greater mental health. Similarly, as you exercise your mind and spend time connecting with others, you impact the following factors:
  • Stress and anxiety. A twenty-minute bike ride won’t sweep away life’s troubles, but exercising regularly helps you take charge of anxiety and reduce stress day to day. Aerobic exercise is especially good because it releases hormones that relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being.
  • Mood. Exercise can treat mild to moderate depression almost as effectively as anti-depressant medication. Exercise also releases endorphins, which are powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirit and makes you feel optimistic.
  • Brainpower. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at-hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent mental ability decline that is age-related.
  • Self-esteem. Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful.