Brain-Changing Benefits of Exercise

We’ve all been told over the years that exercise has so many benefits for our mind, body, and soul. Researcher Wendy Suzuki is a neuroscientist who began investigating the correlation between exercise and the brain after she recognized in her own life what the impact of a more sedentary life produced.

Through her research, she found three main impacts of what thirty minutes of movement could produce in the brain:

1. An immediate effect on your brain is that movement increases levels of neurotransmitters (neurotransmitters are our bodies main communicators to tell our body to perform certain actions).

2. Overtime, exercise can improve our ability to shift and focus attention.

3. Exercise can improve our reaction times.

Even more astounding, she discovered that consistent movement overtime could actually change brain anatomy, physiology, and function. Wow! How amazing is that?

Movement over time not only has immediate effects, but it also can have long-lasting impacts on our body.

A few examples of the changes include new brain cells in the hippocampus, improvements in long-term memory, extensions of time for areas of your brain to decline with age (like Alzheimer’s and Dementia), and long-lasting increases in good-mood neurotransmitters.

If you are interested in hearing more about her research, her shor Ted Talk is really worth the watch. You might be surprised by the ending!

Kim DeRamus Lareau