Physical Exercise

From OptimalScience

Summary and Support[edit]

  • An evaluation of clinical and biomedical research that examines the relationship between cognitive function and physical exercise, especially in youth with disability, reveals the following [1]:
    • Physical activity improves learning and memory, safeguards the nervous system from neurodegenerative disease and injury, and promotes neurogenesis.
    • Neurotrophins which enhance brain plasticity seem to mediate the salutary effects of physical exercise on the brain.
    • Exercise has also been shown to improve cognition in children with cerebral palsy, improve phonemic skill in school children with reading problems, and increase the volume of the brain in areas involving executive processing.
    • Moderation is requisite in the intensity of exercise in order to optimize neurotrophins.
      • Higher intensity physical activity would elevate corticosterone.
  • A study that investigates alterations in mental and physical health, the brain and cognitive functioning due to physical exercise in individuals with schizophrenia indicates the following [2]:
    • Exercise training seems to constitute a salutary intervention in the reduction and the control of disease severity.
    • The impact exercise on mental and physical health, brain activity and cognition may depend on interconnected factors such as the combination of medication with physical exercise.
    • In addition to being a beneficial non-drug alternative, exercise improves process performance optimization.
    • Despite the paucity of studies which correlate the impact of exercise in individuals with schizophrenia, evidence demonstrates that negative as well as positive symptoms can be ameliorated.
  • Further examination of the impact of exercise on the brain reveals the following[3]:
    • Physical exercise impacts the noradrenergic, serotonergic and dopaminergic systems.
    • Many studies, despite the differences in their experimental protocols, demonstrate that during exercise, synthesis as well as metabolism of monoamines experiences alteration.
    • It is possible that fatigue in prolonged exercise is influenced by the relationship between brain neurotransmitters and their receptors.
    • From sensory perception to motor effector mechanisms, central neurotransmitters can impact behavior at many levels.


Ayesh Perera