Exercise Boosts Brain Activity
Brain imaging studies showed that exercise boosts activities in the brain’s frontal lobes and the brain area known as the hippocampus.
In the 1970’s it was felt that a significant rise in endorphins (morphine like peptides in the blood) caused this effect. Later research indicated that endorphins do not easily cross into the brain and they get metabolized.
Endorphins however, can reduce pain which is why you get a lower pain response when you exercise.
Later research showed that physical activity promoted the creation and survival of neuron transmitter, molecules that shuttle messages between neurons.
Exercise boosts level of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine that are associated with elevated mood. In fact, many anti-depressant drugs are designed to raise the concentration of those molecules in the brain.
More recent research has shown that exercise promotes the production of a substance called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor or BDNF.
Exercise is called “Miracle Gro for the brain”. Exercise keeps the cells healthy in a way that highly cognitive activities do not. Exercise is also linked to emotional uplift.