One of the best ways to maintain and improve your overall health is to exercise. Exercise offers a host of benefits, including weight loss, increased energy levels, stronger bones, and healthier brain chemistry. By helping your body produce and release serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and endorphins, exercise positively alters your brain chemistry, helping you feel great. Exercise may also help treat and prevent depression and anxiety in some people. Keep reading to discover four reasons why exercise is great for your brain chemistry.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical made by nerve cells, that sends messages between nerve cells in the brain. It’s sometimes called a “brain booster” due to the important role it plays in mood regulation. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression and anxiety. One of best ways to boost serotonin naturally is to exercise. Exercise increases both serotonin production and release in your brain. For optimum benefit, try to exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
Dopamine is another neurotransmitter. It helps sends messages to the brain and is largely responsible for your ability to focus and achieve your goals when the payoff isn’t immediate. Adequate levels of dopamine can help you be more motivated in starting your day.
The limbic reward system drives all intense pleasure, which produces dopamine, and therefore pleasure and euphoria. Drug addiction often works in overriding the limbic system to produce those feelings, though with considerable consequences. Fortunately, other ways to access these emotions include regular exercise.
Norepinephrine, a brain chemical, helps you become more alert and focused. It also helps with memory retrieval. Furthermore, when increased levels of norepinephrine flow into your bloodstream, your ability to concentrate improves.
One of the quickest, most effective ways to boost norepinephrine production it to exercise. Exercise, particularly high-intensity exercise, causes your adrenal glands and brain to work together to produce more epinephrine and release it into your bloodstream. Norepinephrine release is probably one of the main reasons that studies have shown people are better able to accomplish tasks after a workout.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are largely responsible for feelings of pleasure. Endorphins, along with serotonin and dopamine, are likely the reason why some people achieve a “runner’s high” after an intense bout of exercise. Endorphins are also pain relievers. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins and once they’re released, exercise becomes easier. If you don’t feel like exercising, try to push past those feelings and exercise anyway. Once you start your workout, your body will start producing endorphins, and you’ll probably find yourself enjoying the workout you thought you wanted to skip.
Exercising is a great way to naturally alter your brain chemistry in ways that’ll help you feel better and accomplish more. Healthy brain chemistry leads to good mental health, and good mental health can improve your outlook and positively influence your day-to-day life. With the positive body and brain changes you’re apt to experience because of exercise, don’t be surprised if your energy levels and confidence begin to soar.
If you’re looking to improve your life, and get back on the path of good health, see how our personal training programs can help!