How Exercise Benefits Your Body AND Your Mind

Portrait of a fit young woman doing the butterfly stretch in exe

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Everyone knows that exercise is good for the body, but more and more people are waking up to the fact that vigorous exercise on a regular basis is highly beneficially for the brain as well. In this article, you’ll get a taste of what the latest scientific research is showing, and how exercise can make you not just stronger or faster, but smarter as well.

 

The Effects Of Exercise On The Brain

If you exercise, you’ve felt it before: that euphoric feeling after a serious workout. A “runner’s high” can be triggered by many types of exercise besides running, but the process is the same. This feeling is generated by your brain releasing endorphins—natural, morphine-like compounds that nullify the feelings of pain linked to muscle strain or microfractures which occur during heavy exercise.

Endorphins also have an emotional effect, creating a positive and buoyant mood, and help to reduce stress and anxiety. If you feel wound up after a stressful day at the office, sometimes 30 minutes on the elliptical machine can be all it takes to feel much better.

Additionally, exercise helps the body and the brain by expending pent up energy, which in turn allows for deeper, more restful sleep. It is while you are asleep that the brain “cleans” itself by removing microscopic waste matter that builds up as a result of neural activity during the day.

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