Perhaps you have a rough idea about how exercise affects your health, weight, and energy levels. But do you know about its impact on the brain?
The neurobiological benefits of exercise are clear and significant and can explain why exercise can improve cognitive functioning, mental health, and memory, and also hinder the development of certain neurological conditions.
In an article entitled Exercise is Brain Food (2008),1 Ploughman presents several dominant neuroscientific theories that explain how physical activity positively impacts brain health:
While exercising, oxygen saturation and angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) occurin areas of the brain associated with rational thinking, as well as social, physical and intellectual performance. It is thought that the processes involved here are similar to the way exercise influences the cardiovascular system;
Similar to common medications for anxiety and mood disorders, exercise can regulate the production and release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are known to play key roles in areas of the brain that are involved in emotional processing;
Exercise can also reduce levels of stress hormones, which are generally elevated among people with mental health problems such as depression. Like other stressors, exercise activates the body’s stress response system which, over time, can lead to positive adaptations in the body’s ability to regulate its stress response;
Exercise can support neurogenesis, which is the process of generating new neurons in the brain. Among humans, there is growing evidence to show that aerobic exercise can have a positive effect on the volume of the hippocampus (an important part of the brain involved in emotional processing).
This is particularly interesting because people with depression typically display reduced hippocampal volume.
Of course, the mental health benefits of exercise are not all physical, and there are several psychological mechanisms that may explain some of the mood-boosting effects of exercise.
The time-out hypothesis proposes that exercise offers a distraction from your day to day worries and concerns;2
Evidence supports that people with poor mental health show a bias in attention toward certain negative stimuli and interpret common events negatively.
Exercise can help to attenuate this response, and shift your focus to more positive stimuli;3
Finally, exercise can help you feel better simply because you expect to feel better. Up to 50% of the mood-enhancing effect of exercise may be down to this phenomenon, although the effects and benefits are no less real.4
These are the most common theories as to how exercise can improve your mood and brain health. But, for the moment, they are just theories, and really the full effects of exercise are yet to be fully understood, and it is likely that exercise acts through a complex combination of these proposed mechanisms.
Nonetheless, although the mechanisms remain to be fully understood, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the mental, as well as physical, benefits of being active!
by Guest Author April 16, 2021 16 min read 0 Comments
SnakeWater is the latest sports performance drink from KetoneAid, the maker of KE1 and KE4 Ketone Esters. But what makes it so powerful?
In this post, KetoneAid founder and CEO, Frank Llosa, and pharmacist formulator, James Hughes go in-depth covering each and every KetoneAid SnakeWater ingredient to explain the science behind each compound and its effect on the human body.
Frank and James also talk about the main benefits of KetoneAid SnakeWater for keto and non-keto athletes as well as debunk some myths about using such ingredients as Taurine and Niacin.
by Guest Author April 12, 2021 15 min read 0 Comments
We've all heard the saying: “You are what you eat”, but what exactly does it mean? How does the food we consume affect our gut health, digestion and overall quality of life?
Toby Yo, a personal trainer, entrepreneur, host of the Lifestyle Journey podcast and Australian biohacker, talks about how healthy dietary patterns have helped him not only improve digestion and gut health but also treat acne and relieve hay fever. He also shares multiple gut optimisation tips he learned along the way.
by Guest Author March 25, 2021 12 min read 0 Comments
This article is for people who are (or suspect they are) gluten sensitive or intolerant.
We will dive into the effects gluten has on our health and what we can do to heal our gut, alleviate symptoms and optimise our immune system.
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