The Neuroscience Of: (Exercise)

The Neuroscience of:

The Connection between MIND and BODY

The body-mind connection has (re)captured scientific interest in recent years,

There are i fact many academic books dedicated to the topic – which reflects a growing interest in the subject… 


Physical activity refers to energy expenditure initiated by skeletal muscles which move the body.

Exercise has been defined as:

“A disturbance of homeostasis through muscle activity resulting in movement and increased energy expenditure.”

The critical difference between physical activity and exercise is the planned and structured nature of exercise. 

> The aim of this article is to enhance your understanding of the neurology and importance of exercise <


Just as sedentary muscle can atrophy and become weak and tight, so do our brains (in an analogous way).

Oxygen requirements for the brain is very high, specially if we plan to maintain a level of functionality in this busy modern world. 

There are multiple centres in the brain responsible for our myriad different executive functions.

And guess what? They ALL need to be exercised.  But let’s look at movement (first). 

When we move our body- blood, oxygen, nutrients etc all get pumped through the various centres of the brain, one of the largest centres being the;

Motor Cortex.

The Motor Cortex is also very old. We have been avid movers for many many many many thousands of years. And it is only recently that we have let the sedentary lifestyle creep in as a normative behavior. Let’s not let this happen any longer!


Because movement and brain function go hand in hand.

It is kind of like a two way street. When you move the body the Motor Cortex lights up, which will cause improvements in your movement. As your movement strengthens so do the abilities of the Motor Cortex. A positive feedback loop occurs; as one gets better (exercise), so does the other (motor cortex) – which will then allow for further improvements in the former (Exercise)… and so on…  The gorgeous thing here is that adjacent brain centres can feed off of this improvement and increased circulation.

No ‘brain centre’ is an Island. 

Memory, problem solving skills, decision making ability, the interpersonal relationship part of our brain – etc – all gain from exercise by proxy. The reason this happens is because that motor part of the brain is very very old and very very important to survival. 

We are no longer required to run away from a saber toothed tiger to survive, so the main difference is that exercise is premeditated and deliberately practiced. The fact that you NEED to move still holds true. Thus “Exercise” – as defined above, is all important when it comes to thriving and living a long/strong life! 

Knowledge is Power! Thanks for reading.




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