When you get your heart rate up, you feel it in your chest as you work harder to breathe. You might feel it in your muscles as you start to feel the burn of a good workout. You can’t feel it, but have you ever stopped to think about how exercise is working your brain?
Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers in your brain that help your brain cells communicate with one another and with the rest of your body. A reduced level of neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin, can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. Consistent evidence in both animal and human studies leads researchers to believe that exercise can increase production of the neurotransmitters that boost mood, leading to a happier brain and body.
Exercising 5 times a week or more is also associated with reduced risk of cognitive decline. So next time you get your body moving, just keep in mind that your brain and mood are both benefiting from the work you’re putting in.