The Mind-Body Connection

Boost Mental Acuity Through Exercise

By Dr. Rick Kattouf II

 

It goes without saying that exercise is great for the body and overall health. In addition, regular exercise is also great for the mind. According to Michael Otto, PhD, "the link between exercise and mood is pretty strong." Most people would agree that, mentally, they feel great following a workout, even if they are physically exhausted.  Many individuals choose to start their day with a workout because they feel they are mentally sharper throughout the day.

In a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine, 2007, James Blumenthal, PhD concluded that exercise was comparable to antidepressants for patients with major depressive disorder. In a follow-up study, Blumenthal concluded that, "exercise seems not only important for treating depression, but also in preventing relapse."

Endorphin Rush

 What are Endorphins?  They are a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system that have a number of psychological functions. Exercise increases the release of endorphins. Endorphins help to assist in diminishing the pain associated with exercise, thereby, allowing you to exercise longer.

Mood-Booster

 Serotonin, a hormone and neurotransmitter, is a natural mood enhancer. Serotonin is released during exercise, hence, making exercise a great mood-booster. Sleep also affects serotonin levels and that is why getting good quality sleep each night, 7-8 hours, when combined with regular exercise can become a great 1-2 punch for enhancing one’s mood.

Increase Productivity

Have you ever wondered how some individuals have such high levels of energy, all day, every day and how productive they are each and every day? Well, a lot of this has to do with regular exercise. Exercise helps to increase blood flow to the brain and this can help to assist in increasing awareness and mental acuity. In turn, this enables individuals to be ready, mentally, to take on any and all tasks that present themselves during a day of work. Just imagine feeling more alert, more aware and having higher levels of energy all throughout the day. This makes for a day of amazing productivity.

 The benefits of exercise, both physically and mentally, are endless. If you have been working out regularly, I have no doubt that you have experienced all of these mental benefits. If you are new to working out and just getting started, congratulations; you have an amazing journey ahead of you and just wait until you start to experience all these positive, mental (and physical) benefits that consistent and regular exercise will bring. Enjoy the journey!

References:

1-     American Psychological Association, The Exercise Effect

2-    Exercise For Mental Health

 

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Rick Kattouf II, O.D. is a 2x Best-Selling Author and Fitness & Nutrition expert and has been named one of America’s PremierExperts® and one of the World Fitness Elite® Trainers of the Year. Rick is a Sports Nutrition Specialist, Heart Rate Performance Specialist, Master Personal Trainer & Triathlon Coach. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates around the country as well as in the USA Today, Chicago Tribune, National Examiner, Ironman.com, My Fitness Pal, Livestrong.com, Runner’s World, Bicycling Magazine, Men’s Health UK, FIGHT! Magazine, Florida Cycling Magazine and The Independent in the UK. Rick is the CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Inc, CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Nutrition LLC, CEO/Founder of Virtual Gym LLC, Creator of TeamKattouf® Nutrition Supplements, Host of Rx Nutrition, author of Forever Fit, Creator of 5-Round Fury® Nutrition Supplement, 5-Round Fury Fitness® workout app, Creator of Coach2CEO, Creator of Fuel Keeper®, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. Dr. Rick has personally coached individuals in 30+ states and 10+ countries.