The neuroscience of exercise is an expanding area of research that has a significant contribution to our understanding of the influence of exercise on mental health. An active lifestyle has always been considered the best way to achieve public health in humanity’s entire history.
Our Evolutionary Past
When we look at our evolutionary history, we are the latest species in thousands of years, bearing the older stains in our genes. Our ancestors did a wide range of activities as part of daily life, such as Hunting, climbing trees, chopping wood, etc. All these hard physical works made significant evolutionary changes in the functioning of our brain.
How Our Body is Shaped?
Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers. So naturally, our body is shaped for strenuous activities with short intermittent bursts. Genetic modifications in our body that evolutionarily happened have a great impact on our current life.
Exercise & Brain
Physical training protects the brain from numerous diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s disorder, or dementia. The prefrontal cortex, Temporal lobe, and Hippocampus are the three significant portions of the brain connected to exercise.
- The prefrontal cortex
The prefrontal cortex is situated right behind our forehead. It plays a critical role in decision-making, focus, attention, and personality.
- The temporal lobe
There are two temporal lobes in our brains. They situated on the right and the left sides. There is a fundamental structure deep inside the temporal lobe that is crucial for shaping and maintaining new long-term memories of facts and events.
- The Hippocampus
Hippocampus is a part of the limbic system connected to the new cell generation. Exercise produces brand new brain cells in the Hippocampus. It will increase Hippocampus volume, as well as improve our long-term memory. Also, it will help Hippocampus to develop new memories.
Exercise & Mental Health
Training is the most transformative thing you can do today to achieve a better mood, strength, memory, and focus on your brain. The following practices can improve the functioning of our brains.
Single work out
A single workout we do will automatically increase the neurotransmitter levels, such as dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline.
Long term exercise
Long-term exercise is useful in strengthening our brain’s concentration, which is dependent on our prefrontal cortex.
Why is Exercise Important?
Exercise is essential because the prefrontal cortex and the Hippocampus are the two areas most vulnerable to neurodegenerative disorders and a natural cognitive decline in aging.
We need to consider the brain as a muscle. The more we work out, the bigger and stronger the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.