Improves Brain Health and Mood
Proper exercise and diet also improve mental health. When you exercise, positive changes happen in the brain. Working out allows the body to circulate blood and oxygen to the brain more efficiently.This improves memory and mood as new brain cells are made and a stronger connection is made between cells that communicate. Exercise is effective at combating anger, anxiety, and depression. Supplementor delves into detail how weight training affects the brain.Changing your diet by reducing or eliminating processed food and sugar also helps improve mood and reduces fatigue and “crashes.”
Exercise fuels the brain’s stress buffers
Exposure to long-term stress can be toxic to multiple systems in the body, even leading to medical concerns like high blood pressure and a weakened immune system, along with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.
It may seem counterintuitive that exercise, a form of physical stress, can help the body manage general stress levels. But the right kind of stress can actually make the body more resilient. Research shows that while exercise initially spikes the stress response in the body, people experience lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine after bouts of physical activity.
So far, there’s little evidence for the popular theory that exercise causes a rush of endorphins. Rather, one line of research points to the less familiar neuromodulator norepinephrine, which may help the brain deal with stress more efficiently. Research in animals since the late 1980s has found that exercise increases brain concentrations of norepinephrine in brain regions involved in the body’s stress response.
Norepinephrine is particularly interesting to researchers because 50% of the brain’s supply is produced in the locus coeruleus, a brain area that connects most of the brain regions involved in emotional and stress responses. The chemical is thought to play a major role in modulating the action of other, more prevalent neurotransmitters that play a direct role in the stress response.
Biologically, exercise seems to give the body a chance to practice dealing with stress. It forces the body’s physiological systems — all of which are involved in the stress response — to communicate much more closely than usual: The cardiovascular system communicates with the renal system, which communicates with the muscular system. And all of these are controlled by the central and sympathetic nervous systems, which also must communicate with each other. This workout of the body’s communication system may be the true value of exercise; the more sedentary we get, the less efficient our bodies are in responding to stress.