5 Ways Regular Exercise Will Boost Your Brain Power

We always hear about the benefits of regular physical activity. That it is beneficial for your heart, can aid in weight loss, and is vital for your physical well-being. But can it boost mental power?  Exercise is an excellent place to start if you want to enhance your brain performance. There are the following five ways by which exercise can boost brainpower!

Exercise Improves Memory

Are you often forgetting where you put your keys? Perhaps it is time to visit the gym! Exercise has often been proved to assist in boosting memory. Regular exercise increases the size of the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center. The hippocampus aids in the retrieval and as well as processing of memories and also converts short term memories into long term memories.  

Research has demonstrated that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as jogging, cycling, or brisk walking can increase hippocampal volume[1]. The study showed that Yoga may even have a beneficial effect on the size of your hippocampus.  Whatever type of exercise you pick, science indicates that it will improve your memory and brainpower.

 According to a study published in Perceptual and Motor skills showed that women performed 20% higher on memory tests after running on a treadmill compared to before exercising, Additionally, exercise boosted their capacity for problem-solving by 20%[2].

Your workout’s intensity is also significant. According to a study published in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, people learned vocabulary terms 20% faster when they engaged in vigorous exercise than when they engaged in low-intensity activity[3]

Those who engaged in more strenuous exercise experienced a greater jump in brain-derived neurotrophic factor, epinephrine, and dopamine levels in their brains following exercise[4]. Thus, the more you push your body, the more you will benefit your gray matter.

Exercise May Help You Sleep Better

Sleep is necessary for boosting brain power. Without sleep, your brain struggles with decision-making, and memory and you may experience irritability and mood swings. We are all aware of how difficult it may be to function normally after a poor night’s sleep (one large coffee, please!).

Exercise on a regular basis is an excellent strategy to improve your sleep habits[5]. It may not only help you in falling asleep more quickly but may also improve the quality of your sleep throughout the night.

And if you’re concerned that exercising in the evening will interfere with your sleep, have no fear. Exercise at night, even at a high intensity, has been demonstrated to have no negative effect on your sleep.

Exercise Reduces Stress

In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become a part of life. While some stress is acceptable, prolonged stress can have negative health consequences. Although we cannot always avoid stress, exercise is an excellent tool for managing it. Exercise can assist in lowering your body’s stress hormone levels (such as cortisol and adrenaline[6].

Physical activity can also help in diverting your attention away from your troubles. The repetitive movements you make when exercising can be almost meditative because they draw your attention away from your mind. How fantastic do you feel after a workout? 

Regardless of how difficult the session was, how sweaty you became, or how you felt during the session, you always feel AMAZING afterward. Exercise releases “happy hormones” such as endorphins, which have a calming effect on our mood. According to one study, as little as 10 minutes of physical activity per week can boost one’s happiness[7].

Your muscles, particularly those in your face, shoulders, and neck, can be stiff, resulting in neck pain or back pain, as well as painful headaches. You may experience chest tightness, a hammering pulse, or muscle cramps. 

Additionally, you may feel sleeplessness, heartburn, stomachache, diarrhea, or frequent urination. All of these physical symptoms can contribute to additional stress, creating a vicious loop between your body and mind. Exercising is a proven method for breaking this cycle.

Besides providing a sense of well-being, exercise has been demonstrated to protect against mental diseases such as depression and anxiety[8]. These diseases are becoming more prevalent, with one in every five Australians experiencing a mental illness at some point each year. 

Exercise can be crucial in reducing your risk and managing your symptoms if you have a mental health disorder.


Exercise Nourishes Brain

While you may already be aware that logging miles on the treadmill or an indoor stationary bike can help you maintain a trim physique, adding more cardio to your life will also help you sharpen your intellect, increase your productivity, rev up your energy, and transform you into an unstoppable success machine.

 Even a 30-minute aerobic session increases blood flow to the brain, supplying it with the oxygen and nutrients it requires to function optimally[9]

Cardiovascular exercise such HIIT cardio also floods the brain with substances that aid with problem-solving, and decision making. Additionally, a study indicates that this type of exercise may result in irreversible structural alterations to the brain[10].

Exercise on a regular basis can help reduce your risk of acquiring cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, dementia. This is because exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which improves cognitive performance.

Exercises releases endocannabinoids

Additionally, exercise helps in increasing the release of neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids, which are involved with the reward system in the brain. They boost brain power by reducing stress and improving mood.

According to a 2017 study, Adults who participated in supervised exercise sessions reported an increase in endocannabinoids and a decrease in despair, stress, and bad mood[11].

When these factors combine, it is claimed that a euphoric feeling develops which is known as “runner’s high.”

 Furthermore, Endocannabinoids boost mental energy.



No matter your age, exercise is one of the most effective ways to increase your brainpower because exercise focuses on your mental agility, improves your concentration and memory. Whatever exercise you choose, make it a habit, similar to how you would take a prescription drug. Because exercise is the medicine that can improve both physical and mental health.

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  1. Erickson KI, Voss MW, Prakash RS, Basak C, Szabo A, Chaddock L, et al. Exercise training increases the size of hippocampus and improves memory. 2011;108(7):3017-22.
  2. Zervas Y, Danis A, Klissouras JVP, Skills M. Influence of physical exertion on mental performance with reference to training. 1991;72(3_suppl):1215-21.
  3. Winter B, Breitenstein C, Mooren FC, Voelker K, Fobker M, Lechtermann A, et al. High impact running improves learning. 2007;87(4):597-609.
  4. Hötting K, Schickert N, Kaiser J, Röder B, Schmidt-Kassow MJNp. The effects of acute physical exercise on memory, peripheral BDNF, and cortisol in young adults. 2016;2016.
  5. Baron KG, Reid KJ, Zee PCJJoCSM. Exercise to improve sleep in insomnia: an exploration of the bidirectional effects. 2013;9(8):819-24.
  6. Nabkasorn C, Miyai N, Sootmongkol A, Junprasert S, Yamamoto H, Arita M, et al. Effects of physical exercise on depression, neuroendocrine stress hormones and physiological fitness in adolescent females with depressive symptoms. 2006;16(2):179-84.
  7. Helfer SG, Elhai JD, Geers ALJAoBM. Affect and exercise: positive affective expectations can increase post-exercise mood and exercise intentions. 2015;49(2):269-79.
  8. Powers MB, Asmundson GJ, Smits JAJCBT. Exercise for mood and anxiety disorders: the state-of-the-science. Taylor & Francis; 2015. p. 237-9.
  9. Delp MD, Armstrong R, Godfrey DA, Laughlin MH, Ross CD, Wilkerson MKJTJoP. Exercise increases blood flow to locomotor, vestibular, cardiorespiratory, and visual regions of the brain in miniature swine. 2001;533(3):849-59.
  10. Ohba H, Takada H, Musha H, Nagashima J, Mori N, Awaya T, et al. Effects of prolonged strenuous exercise on plasma levels of atrial natriuretic peptide and brain natriuretic peptide in healthy men. 2001;141(5):751-8.
  11. Dietrich A, McDaniel WFJBjosm. Endocannabinoids and exercise. 2004;38(5):536-41.


Author Bio

Under training to become your personal trainer. If Nelson is not busy producing awesome information on cardiozero.com to improve your health and wellbeing, he’s probably sweating it out at the gym or watching Arsenal break hearts. A digital marketer, an avid reader, plays tennis and loves to travel. He’s a disciple of self-development and follows everything fitness religiously.

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