The Importance of Regular Exercise on Mental Health.

Essay by mambueUniversity, Master'sB+, May 2009

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

It is now well known that regular exercise is very important for the overall well-being of our human body. It is now also well established by numerous researches that exercise can also improve brain function. This concept has been studied in the last ten years especially in aging adults (1). For instance, a study by Colombe and Kramer indicates that exercise improves brain function and it also lowers the risk of cognitive impairment when linked to aging. The causes of age-related cognitive impairment and decline can be researched in the processes that impair the health and functioning of living neurons. Exercise would increase the blood flow to the brain maintaining a steadier level of growth promoting an ideal neuron function. More specifically, the positive effects of exercise on the brain happen in a region called hippocampus (2).

Potter and Keeling conducted a study aimed to better understand the relation between exercise and memory function.

Their findings indicate that a brief period of moderate exercise is beneficial to improving memory performance on both short and long-term memory mechanisms. Regular bouts of exercise have been shown to improve brain functions, increase growth hormone concentrations and neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The study by Potter and Keeling suggest that periods of timed and short exercise can improve memory function and significantly reduce the effects of daytime circadian rhythms on memory performance (3).

A different but still interesting approach to brain function/improvement, has been taken by Davis, Alderson, and Welsh. They have researched and studied the role of nutrition in relation to nervous system fatigue. They focused on the neurotransmitter serotonin because of the role that it plays in depression, sleepiness, and mood. By altering and increasing the metabolism of brain serotonin, they noticed an increase of physical and mental fatigue during endurance exercise. Linking...