Thursday, October 21, 2010

My drug of choice

Sadly for me, today is the first day I've been able to get my exercise in since last week. But I'm so much more clear-headed and energy-filled and mood-enhanced, I feel like I'm taking drugs (I've had some experience with steroids for hives). Which got me thinking, not about what exercise does for my body, but what it does for my brain. And I was so amazed with what I found. Frankly, the human body amazes me pretty much every day. This study talks about how exercise can increase your brain acuity. In turn, that can affect other major outcomes in life: people who were fittest at 18 were more likely to achieve both higher educational and socioeconomic status later in life, according to results published in December 2009 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

I'm also following this line of research: molecular biologists and neurologists have begun to show that exercise may alter brain chemistry in much the same way that antidepressant drugs do — regulating the key neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. Exercise is a free drug! We all have the prescription and it never runs out. We just have to remember to take it.

P.S. The picture is cool, but freaky too, I know.


  1. That is so cool! I totally believe it. When I am feeling grumpy or stressed my husband always shoves my running shoes into my hands and tells me not to come back until I am happy. And then I go out and run hard and come back happy. It really works. We always get a good laugh out of it. After I apologize for my mood of course. I am going to read those studies now. Thanks for sharing that.

  2. Interesting research. I totally agree that exercise gives you stimulants, especially if you've been feeding it properly so it's can perform the way it was intended.

    I like the's how I'll probably feel when I'm old and taking lots of pills.

  3. I knew it was your post even before I read a word, or checked the author at the end. You find the coolest pics!

    And yes, as a person who has struggled with depression, I really think that exercise has a strongly positive effect on mood. It's definitely a strong tool to help regulate your biochemistry.

  4. Isn't it amazing how much it effects your brain. With how much it effects my mood, and emotions, it always amazes me that it takes so much convincing to do it.