Regular physical activities are key to a healthy mind and body. There are more than enough studies that prove this, showing the effects of exercising on muscle growth, bone strength, cardiovascular risk, and even severe conditions like cancer and memory problems.
While these benefits have been well emphasized over the years, the effect of working out on brain health isn’t talked about as much. We have substantial proof that physical activities are beneficial to mental health, regulating mood, decreasing stress, and boosting memory health.
How Does it Work?
During physical activities, the body produces several molecules via the liver, muscle system, and fat cells. These molecules are then transported to the brain via the circulatory system, permeating the blood-brain threshold. This results in a ripple of beneficial effects, which improves your mood and overall self-worth.
One major element that is born from this ripple effect is the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth hormone, which is the star of the show in terms of the relationship between the brain and working out.
BDNF is responsible for synapses—essentially how the brain connects with itself and the rest of the body through neurons in a process known as synaptic plasticity. It is how we amass and retain knowledge.
Additionally, BDNF activates the production of new brain cells within the hippocampus. To do this, it improves stem cell function across the brain, which results in the hippocampus brimming with new and healthier cells, which make your brain more powerful and capable.
Of course, there’s more to it than just hitting the gym. Even post-workout routines contribute to brain health. For instance, if you search online for supplements using the search term “buy steroid Canada” you’ll be on the first step to help you promote body definition as you work out. Studies show that anabolic steroids influence healthy moods, which can prevent anxiety and depression symptoms.
Effects of Working Out on the Brain
The effects of hitting the gym on mental health are including but are not limited to the following:
Boosts brain oxygen supply
The faster your heart beats when you work out, the more oxygen is transported to the brain. This alters the blood vessels that circulate blood around the brain, leading to executive functioning boosts, such as better self-control, flexible cognition, and better memory.
This ability is shared by the nervous system and brain and reflects how they can change to deal with stimuli (internal or external) better. Neuroplasticity is responsible for how we manage to assimilate new languages, activities, and skills.
Concentration and focus levels
Working out at the gym, even if you manage only a single routine, has an immense effect on how you focus and alternate attention. Even better, you can achieve and own this effect for about two hours with only a half hour of working out. It’s like your very own power-up. Exercises like jumping rope, running, cycling, brisk walking, swimming, and others that get your heart rate up should help.
Preventing dementia and related conditions
You are more likely to succumb to dementia and its subsequent forms, like Alzheimer’s if you don’t work out. This is because exercise fires up the brain, thereby disrupting factors that make you more susceptible, such as high blood pressure, depression, obesity, anxiety, and diabetes.