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How can exercise improve the way our brain functions?

by Team vybey |

The pressures of getting into or back into exercise can be a lot; creating a routine, setting goals, and maintaining motivation, can be especially tough when managed alongside daily life and our busy schedules. The busier life gets the faster we relegate a healthier lifestyle, that's why here at vybey aim to provide meal replacements shakes & braincare nutrition that ensure your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs. We also hope to educate and motivate you towards promoting that healthy lifestyle.

This is why it's important to set an achievable action plan for your goals, setting daily, weekly or monthly targets and ensuring you’re not pushing yourself to the point of burnout.

As part of goal setting, it’s important to refresh yourself as well as keep yourself updated on key self-improvement research in order to set ourselves up for the best chance of success.

It is also important to be educated on the multiple benefits that exercise can have on our bodies; both mentally and physically. Understanding how our bodies can benefit can increase our motivation and dedication towards completing exercises as there is a strong correlation between intrinsic motivation and athletic performance[1]. Therefore, improving our chances of sticking to our action plan and reaching our goals.

Clinical studies show that individuals who partake in regular exercise regimes improve their cognitive test scores. They are superior in long-term memory, reasoning, attention, problem-solving and fluid-intelligence tasks (which involve reasoning quickly), thinking abstractly, and improvising off previously learned material in order to solve new problems.

In fact, the benefits of exercise can be so dramatic that if it were bottled, it would probably be seen as a wonder drug.

There are many benefits to exercise such as the reduction in health risks, aiding in the management of chronic health conditions and disabilities as well as weight management. A further benefit as briefly mentioned above is the improvement in mental health and brain function.

Exercise and Mental Health:

  •       Exercise regulates the release of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. All three are associated with the maintenance of mental health.
  •       It only takes between 10 and 30 minutes of daily physical activity to lift your mood!
  •       Evidence now indicates that exercise can be used to alter the course of both depression and anxiety.[2]
  •       A Stockholm study found that exercise such as running produced an antidepressant effect and produced the same effects as antidepressant drugs such as fluoxetine. [3]
  •       Exercise not only provides long-term protection and enhanced health but is also a powerful short-term solution to the damaging effects of stress.
  •       No natural remedy provides a more effective way of flushing the stress hormone cortisol out of your bloodstream.
  •       A short run, a vigorous walk, or a challenging game of tennis - in fact, almost anything that gets you up and moving can wipe the slate clean of the day's accumulated tension and leave you feeling refreshed, ready to face the rest of the day, or pleasantly relaxed for a leisurely evening and a sound night's sleep.
  •       Take it outside - by itself, exercise offers ample protection against stress, but exercise outdoors can be even better. Exposure to nature of almost any kind has been shown to have a healing effect.

Exercise and Brain Function:

Neuroscientists, Friederike Fabritius and Hans Hagemann, promote the benefits exercise has on brain function.

  •       When you engage in some sort of physical leisure activity, especially aerobic activity, your risk of dementia is cut in half.
  •       Taking a twenty-minute walk every day reduces your chance of stroke by even more: 57 percent.
  •       Exercise can also give you a better memory. It increases blood volume in the dentate gyrus, an important component of the hippocampus, which deals with the formation of memories.

There are multiple studies that have investigated the correlation between exercise and dementia:

  •       Heyn et al. found that regular exercise had positive effects on both cognitive and behavioral improvement. The exercise completed within this meta-analysis was regular and lasted around 6 months, highlighting that exercise needs to be continuous in order for benefits to be seen.[4]
  •       Haeur et al. found that physical training improves motor performance in people with dementia. in a study of 62 dementia patients that underwent 3 months of progressive resistance and functional group training and found increases in both strength and functional capacities compared to the control group[5].

Exercise also improves our problem-solving skills.

  •       A study conducted by researchers at Columbia University found that in 132 adults, executive function was significantly improved after 24 weeks of aerobic exercise[6]. 
  •       Discovering further that the greater the participants age, the greater the improvement in executive function.

Exercising to improve our mental health can seem like an obvious answer, but on some occasions, it can be easy to forget how beneficial it can be. Hopefully, the above has reinforced any previous knowledge or educated you on how beneficial even the simplest of exercises such as walking can be.

Furthermore, once exercising is complete we must ensure that we fuel our bodies with the correct nutrition. As you can guess, this is where vybey comes in with the best meal replacement shakes that are high in protein and vitamins and minerals resulting in quicker recovery. We also now have our brand new braincare smart greens which are not your average super greens powder mix. We have gone above and beyond with the RnD to produce something unique to the market with braincare focussed ingredients ensuring our brains are well looked after.

We’d love to hear from you so simply leave a comment below!

[1] Charbonneau, D., Barling, J. and Kelloway, E.K. (2001) “Transformational leadership and sports performance: The mediating role of Intrinsic Motivation,” Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31(7), pp. 1521–1534. Available at:

[2] Nutt, David. (2008). Relationship of neurotransmitters to the symptoms of major depressive disorder. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. 69 Suppl E1. 4-7. 10.1007/springerreference_116852.

[3] Bjørnebekk, Astrid & Mathé, Aleksander & Brené, Stefan. (2005).The antidepressant effect of running is associated with increased hippocampal cell proliferation. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 8: 357-368. The international journal of neuropsychopharmacology / official scientific journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP). 8. 357-68. 10.1017/S1461145705005122.

[4] Heyn, P., Abreu, B. C., & Ottenbacher, K. J. (2004). The effects of exercise training on elderly persons with cognitive impairment and dementia: a meta-analysis. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 85(10), 1694–1704.

[5] Hauer, K., Schwenk, M., Zieschang, T., Essig, M., Becker, C., & Oster, P. (2012). Physical training improves motor performance in people with dementia: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(1), 8–15.

[6] Fallik, D. (2019) “Aerobic exercise improves executive function in adults aged 20-67,” Neurology Today, 19(3). Available at:

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