The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

September 28, 2013

Get high on exercise

RICHMOND — When we think of exercise, most of us automatically think of the physical part, like losing weight, building muscle and training to run a 5K. But mental fitness is another benefit of exercise. Here’s how exercise helps us mentally.

Think of your body as a huge chemistry set. Neurotransmitters in the brain are the chemicals that permit signals to be sent throughout the body. These chemicals are important to our health for a number of reasons.

Serotonin is linked to mood and emotion. Too little serotonin can lead to depression, anger management issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder and even suicide. It can also contribute to an increased appetite for starchy foods and sleeplessness.

Dopamine is linked to reward mechanisms in the brain. Too little dopamine is tied to Parkinson’s disease while too much is linked to schizophrenia. Nicotine and other stronger drugs like cocaine, heroin and opium increase levels of dopamine in the brain.

Endorphins are involved in pleasure and pain reduction. This chemical is similar to the opiods (opium, heroin, morphine).

Norepinephrine increases our heart rate and blood pressure which is important for forming memories.

When we exercise, our brains release all of these chemicals and they stay in the body for some time after we’re finished. Increased blood flow to the brain helps increase oxygen supply which in turn improves mental alertness, information processing and perception.

As our levels of stress and tension subside with exercise, our mood is elevated. Problem situations become clearer. Anxieties and frustrations abate. In short, we simply feel better and more alert after exercise.

We also have better sleeping habits. The body’s ability to repair itself is enhanced, allowing us to function at our best the next day. Our body’s immune system also becomes stronger the more we exercise.

The mental benefits of regular exercise should not be undervalued. Whether you’re a hardcore exerciser or new to the fitness game, adopting the fitness lifestyle will not only keep your body in prime condition, it will also improve your body’s chemistry. Strive for the runner’s high. 

1
Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • Brandon-Sears-c.jpg Beef Cattle Association field day is Thursday

    Make plans to attend the Madison County Beef Cattle Association field day on Thursday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event will take place at the farm of Dr. Eugene Bowling, 1437 Barnes Mill Road in Richmond. Signs will be posted.
    This meeting qualifies as a CAIP educational component.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04.23 JessaTurner1.jpg Eat local and eat with the seasons

    This week marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, and what could be more important to our survival than clean air, clean water and clean food?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amanda-Sears-c.jpg Proper care enables planting of Easter lilies

    Did you receive or purchase an Easter lily? If so, be sure to treat it right and you will be able to plant it outside this spring.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lisa Adams.jpg 4-H Camping Season Nears

    Hopefully, we have seen the last of the snow for the year, so now is the time for young people and their parents to begin making plans for an annual summer ritual, 4-H Camp.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg These things cause me concern for the future

    I was just thinking the other day about things that are happening in this country that do not bode well for the future.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WP_20140419_001.jpg Cruisin’ with the Oldies

    With the sound of classic songs wafting through the air Saturday, hundreds of people took advantage of the summer-like temperatures and turned out for the Kirksville Community Center car show.

    April 21, 2014 9 Photos

  • 04.18 Food .jpg It’s egg party time

    I love this time of the year because eggs really do go down in price during the Easter season. I have some new recipes on how to fix eggs besides the coloring part.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 04.18 Steaks.jpg Where’s the beef?

    Today, the American consumer has more money to spend on the widest variety of foods than at any other time in our history.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg We old folks have unique experiences

    A friend sent this to me by e-mail, and I thought my readers would enjoy it.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results