You think working out is only good for your physical health? That’s not entirely true, since movement can also positively influence your way of thinking. A study conducted by the Max-Planck-Institute confirmed that there is a connection between your muscles and your brain. Working out doesn’t just help you improve your physical fitness level but can additionally help you study and prevent diseases such as depression or dementia.

And how does this work?

The areas in your brain responsible for coordination and motion are based in the frontal lobe. This is also where your working memory is located, which focuses on things we want to concentrate on. When you work out, it’s not just your body that’s supplied with blood, but also these areas of your brain. This is how your cells are adequately provided with oxygen and glucose. It increases your brain’s ability to concentrate and perform properly. By working out you can additionally promote the information exchange between nerve cells through the development of new synapses (connections) right up to the creation of new cells (neurogenesis). All these positive effects enhance your mental flexibility, alertness and concentration. And the best part: This effect lasts for multiple days after your workout!

Intoxication without drugs

A study conducted by the institute of motion and neuroscience at the German Sport University in Cologne refers to a further aspect of this: Working out reduces the activity in a part of the frontal lobe (the prefrontal cortex). The same subsidence was discovered while investigating the „Flow“- experience in the field of motivational research. Psychologists define “Flow” as the complete absorption in an activity leading to obliviousness and the feeling of everything being completely balanced. This is the sensation when you feel weightless despite all the sweating and strenuousness and forget about your frantic pulse and red face for a moment.

Working out makes you happy

And that’s not all! The endorphins released during sports get you in a good mood. And there is another positive effect: Your brain is so strongly challenged by your movement and the coordination of your motion sequences that it’s too busy to think about anything else. This gives you a timeout from all your annoying obligations and your daily stress – it’s a recreational break for your brain! It also enhances your performance ability after working out.

The extra boost for your self-confidence

Working out improves your physical fitness and you notice this effect, consciously or unconsciously. You regard this as a positive change because you it’s an accomplishment and you also see yourself in a more positive light. This, in combination with the depletion of stress hormones through working out, boosts your self-confidence and lets you shine!

Nike confirmed this effect during a customer survey with 10 000 women from nine different countries: 77% of them said that working out boosts their confidence.

Another interesting fact: 82% of athletically active women are inclined to have more sex because of their positive self-perception – which is a lot more than in the athletically less active control group (69%).

Try it now!

The good news is you don´t have to run a marathon to profit from the positive effects on your brain. A study ranging for a period of nine years, conducted by the neurologist Kirk Erickson at the University of Pittsburgh, has resulted in the fact that even moderate but regular movement like taking short walks can have a positive effect on our brain and our way of thinking. So go for it!