Exercise brings more oxygen to the blood which leads to improved energy and a more positive outlook. Anyone who has suffered the lasting low oxygen energy deficiency that comes with Covid will tell you it's hard to have much enthusiasm when you aren't getting adequate oxygen to your blood.
Furthermore, exercise helps to reduce high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol which have been linked to both depression and dementia.
As oxygen in the blood increases, transport of oxygen to the brain improves and other important brain chemicals such as endorphins, endocannabinoids, brain derived neurotropic factors, leptin, dopamine and serotonin norepinephrine increase. Endorphins are known reduce pain and stress and improve mood. Endocannabinoids help with pain, appetite, sleep, inflammation, mood, learning and memory. Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) helps you build new brain cells and is involved in learning, and preventing anxiety and age related decline, obesity, depression and even schizophrenia. Leptin is primarily know for helping to modulate body fat and appetite helping to prevent overeating but it is also been showed to help with learning. Low leptin has been linked to anorexia, depression and Alzheimer's disease. Dopamine Low serotonin can cause aggression, poor impulse control, insomnia, irritability, low self-esteem, anxiety, panic disorder, depression, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorders. Low dopamine is associated ADHD, low libido, fatigue and sleep disorders. Finally, low norepinephrine, also called noradrenaline, triggers many of the same symptoms seen above. Boosting these brain chemicals through exercise can stabilize move and positively influence overall mental health.
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