Exercise isn’t just good for your body; it also has incredible benefits for your mind as well.
Specifically, exercise is a crucial component in your overall mood and sense of well-being.
Recently, researchers at the University of California discovered a new connection between exercise and mental health. This opens up the doors to new research to treat even the most-extreme cases of cognitive diseases such as depression.
Using imaging studies on the brain, researchers discovered that exercise directly increases the levels of two neurotransmitters, glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. These are responsible for chemical messaging within the brain.
Normal, everyday stressors in your life cause these levels of neurotransmitters to drop. This can lead to a sense of sadness and a drop in your mood.
In extreme cases of those with clinical depression, levels of glutamate and GABA are consistently lower than normal levels.
As the study’s lead author wrote …
"Major depressive disorder is often characterized by depleted glutamate and GABA, which return to normal when mental health is restored," said Richard Maddock, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
"Our study shows that exercise activates the metabolic pathway that replenishes these neurotransmitters."
One of the proposed theories by scientists of how this happens is that the brain uses sugar and other carbohydrates during exercises. And one of the ways the brain is using this fuel is to create more neurotransmitters.
"From a metabolic standpoint, vigorous exercise is the most demanding activity the brain encounters, much more intense than calculus or chess, but nobody knows what happens with all that energy," Maddock said.
"Apparently, one of the things it’s doing is making more neurotransmitters."
What this means is a sedentary lifestyle is not only harmful physically, but also mentally.
Exercise is absolutely crucial for you and your health.
Making an effort to become more active in your daily life is a positive habit for you in just about every way.
We would love to hear all the ways you use to live an active lifestyle by leaving a comment in the comments section below!
Happy and healthy investing,