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How can physical exercise improve my brain's ability to learn?

Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Exercise strengthens the brain's ability to learn. Even at a cellular level, we are wired for mobility. Chronic intense activity increases capillary development in the brain, enabling oxygen, glucose, and a spectrum of growth hormones access to the brain. In addition, our bodies respond to the physical stress of exercise as if we were trying to escape danger -- the old flight-or-fight mechanism. When we get our blood pumping, under real stress or stress induced by running in the park, we release norepinephrine, or adrenaline and we stimulate the endocannabinoid system in our brains. Adrenaline acts on the brain to sharpen our attention, increase our arousal, and motivate us to assimilate new information, or learn. At the same time, serotonin is released to calm the brain's "nerves" so we can think straight. This puts our brain in a prime environment for learning.
Dr. Vonda Wright's Guide to Thrive: 4 Steps to Body, Brains, and Bliss

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Dr. Vonda Wright's Guide to Thrive: 4 Steps to Body, Brains, and Bliss

Dr. Wright unfolds her Guide to Thrive by preparing readers for six remarkable months of body, brains, and bliss transformation, using her framework of the four practical steps. As a scientist and...
Studies show that exercise increases the production of neurotransmitters, the chemical signals between nerves in the brain. Exercise also improves the pliability of the brain and its’ ability to make new connections from learning new material. The combination of increased chemical activity and ability to make new connections improves your brains ability to learn.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.