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     Fitness Tips For 1/23/2013

Bodybuilding and the Brain

Immediate Physical Effects of Exercise on the Brain

Bodybuilding affects you both physically and mentally and anyone who
trains regularly will know that. Training your body gives you the 
physique, confidence and sense of achievement and challenge that can 
rub off and help you in every area of your life. However the link 
between body and mind goes deeper than that, and working out will 
also immediately affect both your brain chemistry and composition.
There are a myriad ways in which this happens. The best known affect 
is probably the one known as the "runners high". Despite its name, 
this phenomenon actually occurs in any type of athletic training and
comes from the secretion of extra endorphins during exercise. These 
endorphins are designed to block pain and lift the mood so that if 
we were placed under stress in the wild we'd be able to cope and 

This means that working out can be a great way to lift your mood or 
combat pain if you're going through a tough time and is a far more 
affective method than using alcohol or antidepressants. It's also 
the reason that many athletes become addicted to their sports, but 
I can't find a negative aspect to becoming addicted to something 
that keeps you fit and healthy.

Bodybuilding also changes your mood by increasing the production of
testosterone. Known as the male hormone, testosterone actually has 
many benefits psychologically for both men and women and can improve
ambition, positivity, competitiveness and sex drive.

As well as affecting your mood however, bodybuilding also improves 
your IQ, and a regular exercise has been shown to improve scores on 
memory tests as well as tests of fluid intelligence. Until recently 
it was thought that neurogenesis (the birth of new cells) was 
impossible after we finished growing. However exercise has been 
shown to stimulate the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus  
responsible for memory and learning tasks.

Bodybuilding also strengthens the neural networks in your brain 
through repeated use, developing the mind body connection so 
improving your motor cortex and special awareness. "Brain plasticity" 
refers to the fact that our brains can change shape much like a 
muscle. So get in the gym and start working that cranium!

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Bodybuilding and the Brain

Neither nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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