How Exercise Helps Build a Stronger, More Elastic Brain

By Heather Brummer, MS CN

Many people tend to think of exercise when they think of improved strength and weight loss strategies. But there are many reasons to embrace the effort and sweat!

Research shows the benefits of exercise are becoming almost too numerous to count—and many of these benefits go far beyond simply burning calories.

What if you could increase your motivation, manage your physical energy, and improve your mental energy and ability to focus? What if you could help build a stronger brain? And what if you could get all of these health benefits from doing one thing consistently?

Research suggests that exercise helps to build a stronger, more elastic brain—a brain that can ease through new tasks and learning.

1. Exercise activates the prefrontal cortex.

Our prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that governs our executive thinking skills—it’s where planning, organizing, consequence evaluation, learning from mistakes, motivation, and the ability to maintain focus all reside. This part of the brain is activated by exercise.

2. Exercise increases the production of neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters are communication chemicals in the brain. More often than not, we benefit by having more of them present. Serotonin and dopamine are two examples of neurotransmitters that are impacted by exercise—and they help us manage our emotional responses to life and elevate our moods.

3. Exercise increases the presence of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).

BDNF is a chemical that helps certain types of brain cells grow big and “perky” and establish new connections. Additionally, it helps generate new brain cells. All of this is a fancy way of saying exercise helps us learn more effectively by building more “roads” on which the incoming information travels.

If you want help thinking more clearly, keeping your motivation and ability to learn elevated, and your mental energy consistent, you should view exercise as a “prescription.” Research suggests that as little as ten minutes of exercise per day demonstrates measurable improvements in all areas; however, 30-40 minutes per day four to five days per week of moderate intensity exercise is considered by some experts to be the most widely beneficial.

Having trouble figuring out how to fit this prescription into your busy life? Call your Arivale Coach. Your Arivale Coach is here to help you figure out where you can fit exercise into your lifestyle.

In good health,
Coach Heather

Want to weigh in? Tell us what you think.