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How & Why: Exercise changes brain to resist stress

November 20, 2009

Mr. Brain Fights Stress with Exercise

Great post off of the New York Times well blog. There’s interesting research coming out about how exercise remodels the brain. Here the discussion is particularly focused on how exercise makes the brain more resistant to stress and effects (enhances) mood.

Neurons and neurotransmitters are the focus of this research. It has been believed that exercise enhances mood–a psychological state. But how that happened was unclear. We are finally getting at the mechanisms. In new research on rats:

The “cells born from running,” the researchers concluded, appeared to have been “specifically buffered from exposure to a stressful experience.” The rats had created, through running, a brain that seemed biochemically, molecularly, calm.

Exercise changes your brain down at the level of molecules and biochemicals. And then it builds back up to your resulting moods. Anxiety, depression be gone!

I’ll be back to expand and comment on the article in a bit. For now, keep moving!

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