One thing we all know, exercise is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle. But did you also know that regular exercise has massive benefits for your brain health and, by extension, your cognitive ability? Exercise positively impacts your mood, focus, memory and even improves your ability to sleep soundly.
Elevated GABA and Glutamate
You’ve most likely noticed that people who exercise regularly tend to be in better shape mentally. A study done at the UC Davis Health System and published in The Journal of Neuroscience measuring two specific neurotransmitters in charge of brain messaging demonstrated one of the ways that exercise boosts your brain’s health.
The study set out to measure glutamate and GABA produced by the brain during exercise. These two neurotransmitters are responsible for cell-to-cell communication, and they help regulate your emotions.
Study test subjects rode stationary bikes, hitting about 85% of their maximum heart rate for three sessions, lasting between eight and 20 minutes each. While doing these exercises, a detailed MRI measured the amount of glutamate and GABA produced by their brains. Both neurotransmitters spiked during the activities.
The most significant increases were found in the visual cortex, the area of the brain that helps process information and where mental clarity and focus originate, and in the anterior cingulate cortex, the area that helps regulate mood and emotion. The most exciting finding from the study showed elevated levels of glutamate and GABA long after the participants had finished working out.
Even More Benefits for the Brain
When you exercise, you probably concentrate on your core, legs, arms, and gluts. However, these aren’t the only areas that get stronger and more resilient with exercise. Increasing your heart rate during exercise increases blood flow to your brain, bringing with it more oxygen and nutrients.
Exercise triggers the release of feel-good brain chemicals dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.
Exercise induces the release of beneficial neurons that promote the growth of new neurons.
All this oxygenating and boosting of neuron health naturally results in improved mental abilities. The proof – children and adults who regularly exercise have been shown to perform better on tests than those who don’t exercise regularly.
Another Smart Move to Boost Your Brain Health
The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are essential for normal brain function and critical for healthy brain aging. Both fatty acids are part of the structure of your brain cells and facilitate communication between these cells.
While many people get their omega-3 supplementation from fish oil, it turns out that krill oil may be a better source. Krill oil offers highly concentrated amounts of omega-3, and it contains powerful antioxidants that fish oil doesn’t include.
Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Krill Oil contains 1,600 milligrams of K•REAL® Krill Oil, with high levels of EPA and DHA, in phospholipid form for better absorption.
And if arthritis or inflammation of your joints prevents you from getting the regular exercise your body and brain need every day, Dynamic Krill Oil can help here, too. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce morning stiffness, tender or swollen joints, and joint pain.
If you’re over 50 years old, consider taking an omega-3 supplement…
Because it’s unlikely that your diet alone provides enough omega-3 to replenish what’s needed. Taking an omega-3 rich supplement like Dynamic Krill Oil provides a therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids in each serving, giving your body and brain the benefits of this essential nutrient.
1. Acute Modulation of Cortical Glutamate and GABA Content by Physical Activity | Journal of Neuroscience (jneurosci.org)