Effect of fitness on the brain

1: Improving the functioning of the nervous system

Dr. John J. Ratey, MD, Harvard Medical School : "Physical exercises affect primarily the brain and only then on the body. They control the mood, the level of energy and mindfulness, the general feeling of well-being "(1).

Active power and prolonged aerobic loads lead to the fact that the body begins to synthesize serotonin and dopamine - substances responsible for a sense of calm, happiness and even euphoria. The effectiveness of the brain eventually increases.

2: Extension of youth

There are already the first scientific studies linking regular physical activity with the ability of the body to synthesize new stem cells to renew and rejuvenate not only the brain tissue, but the whole organism as a whole.

In addition, most neuropsychologists tend to believe that similar regeneration processes are also observed in the case of nerve cells, which directly refutes the established myth that these same nerve cells are not being restored( 1).

3: Improving the memory functions of

Increased in training, the heart rate directs more blood not only to working muscles, but also to the brain. Studies show that the cognitive capacity of a person increases by about 10-15% immediately after physical training.

The minimum level of physical activity that stimulates not only the muscles but also the work of the brain is 30 minutes three times a week. The optimal level is 30-60 minutes four to five times a week, the pulse level is 60% of the maximum for your age( MCHP)( 1).

4: Enhancing Learning Capabilities

Researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have shown that regular aerobic training leads to an increase in the size of the hypothalamus and the cerebral cortex responsible for verbal memory and the ability to learn and assimilate new information( 4).

It is interesting, but strength training has no effect on the brain - the most important parameters are increased heart rate and increased blood circulation, and the performance of force exercises affect them significantly less.

5: Increasing the level of concentration of

University of Iowa specialists found that strength training increases the ability of the brain to concentrate on a specific task. One of the reasons is that during the training it is necessary to control both the technique of the exercise and count the repetitions.

However, the less attention a person pays to controlling what he does in the gym, the worse this affects the final result. Those who chat with friends in WhatsApp during the exercise, achieve as a result only a fraction of the overall efficiency.

6: Confronting Depression

Studies published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness suggest that after an aerobic exercise lasting one hour, more than half of the subjects felt improved mood, reduced feelings of fatigue and tension( 1).

Because depression primarily affects brain activity and the overall performance of the body, direct control of this efficiency during exercise helps the person to regain control and control over their own lives.

7: Resistance to stresses

One of the main causes of stress is the fear that the list of current problems is so great that it will not be possible to solve all these tasks. Since physical training teaches not only to set goals, but also to achieve them, it helps in the fight against stress.

Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder showed that people who regularly exercise( even those who did it against their will) show a higher level of resistance to stress and various disorders associated with anxiety levels.


Regular physical activity improves the functioning of the brain and renews its tissues, while helping to combat depression. Aerobic training improves memory and leads to increased learning, and strength training teaches concentration on a specific goal.

Data sources:

  1. Train Your Brain With Exercise, source
  2. Regular exercise changes to the brain to improve memory, source
  3. Five Ways Exercise Impacts Your Brain, source
  4. Physical Exercise Beefs Up the Brain, source