3 Ways to Supercharge Your Brain Power Through Exercise. Hutton Health

3 Ways to Supercharge Your Brain Power Through Exercise

30th September 2023

(This post may contain referral links. Please read my disclaimer for more info.). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

You know exercise is good for your physical health, but did you know it’s also good for your brain?

The latest neurological research has shown that there is a so-called ‘magic protein’ called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) that has the power to supercharge your brain and improve your memory. And it is stimulated by cardiovascular exercise!


BDNF can rewire and build new neural pathways in the brain, especially in the crucial areas that control memory (the hippocampus) and analysis, thinking, and decision-making (the frontal lobes).

Your frontal lobes are where most of the intellectual activity of the brain takes place, from processing the data that’s coming in all the time to problem-solving and making ethical decisions.  And you can keep these critical parts of your brain bathed in BDNF by merely increasing the amount of exercise in your daily routine.

Exercise has a profound impact on the brain, leading to various structural and functional changes. These changes can have a positive influence on cognitive function, mental health, and overall well-being.

Here are some ways in which exercise can change your brain:

  • Increased Neuroplasticity: Exercise enhances neuroplasticity, which is the brain's ability to adapt and reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. This process is crucial for learning, memory, and recovery from brain injuries.

  • Neurogenesis: Exercise promotes the production of new neurons (neurogenesis) in certain brain regions, particularly in the hippocampus, a region important for memory and learning. These new neurons can improve cognitive function and support memory formation.

  • Improved Blood Flow: Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, delivering oxygen and nutrients essential for optimal brain function. This enhanced blood flow can contribute to better cognitive performance.

  • Release of Neurotransmitters: Exercise stimulates the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These chemicals play a role in mood regulation, motivation, and attention. Increased neurotransmitter activity can result in improved mood and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF): Exercise boosts the production of BDNF, a protein that supports the growth, maintenance, and survival of neurons. Higher BDNF levels are associated with improved cognitive function, particularly in tasks related to memory and learning.

  • Stress Reduction: Regular physical activity helps reduce stress by lowering the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. It also promotes relaxation through the release of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters.

  • Improved Connectivity: Exercise enhances connectivity between different regions of the brain, facilitating communication and information processing. This improved connectivity can enhance cognitive abilities such as problem-solving and decision-making.

  • Enhanced Memory: Exercise can improve both short-term and long-term memory. It may also help with memory retention and retrieval.

  • Protection Against Cognitive Decline: Engaging in regular physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

  • Better Sleep: Exercise can lead to better sleep quality and duration. Adequate sleep is essential for optimal brain function and cognitive performance.

  • Mood Regulation: Exercise can have a positive impact on mood by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can also improve overall emotional well-being.

  • Enhanced Executive Function: Executive functions, which include skills like planning, organization, and problem-solving, can improve with regular exercise. This is particularly important for tasks that require complex cognitive processes.

If you find it hard to commit to regular exercise, here are three ways you can make exercise motivation easier and supercharge your brain at the same time.

1. Make Exercise Fun

The key to maintaining an exercise regime is to choose an activity or activities that you enjoy. Not everyone likes going to the gym, but there are many other ways to increase your heart rate and get the BDNF pumping.

Dancing, swimming, hiking out in nature, and bike riding will all get your heart rate up, and you’ll enjoy doing it. Even brisk walking will help. As a bonus, exercise will boost your endorphins, too, making you happier and more relaxed.

Read this blog post for 7 ways to change your thinking to help you enjoy exercise

Supercharge your brain through exercise: Make Exercise Fun

2. Schedule Your Exercise

It’s easier to stick to a regular exercise plan if you schedule time in your diary. Set aside time and increase your sessions until you’re exercising for thirty minutes, four or five times a week.

Like any other habit, once you make exercise a priority, it will become just another part of your regular routine like brushing your teeth.

Supercharge your brain through exercise: Schedule Your Exercise

3. Make it Musical

Research has shown that music can increase motivation and happiness. Exercise will be much more fun if you’re bopping away to your favorite tunes. Even housework can become a brain-boosting dance routine when you’re vacuuming along to music that makes you smile. Turn up the volume and start cleaning to the beat!

Create a playlist of your favorite songs, and you will find that exercise is pleasurable and much easier to stick to when there’s upbeat music to encourage you!

There are a range of headphones that make it easy and comfortable to listen to music while exercising. Check out our recent post, 6 Best Running Headphones To Look Out For In 2023 .

These AfterShokz are my favourite headphones to use while I am exercising. The bone conducting style allows me to enjoy my music while also hearing my surroundings while I am exercising.

Supercharge your brain through exercise: Make it Musical

Exercise is a great way to supercharge your brainpower to help you feel strong in your body and strong in your mind.

It's important to note that the type, intensity, and duration of exercise can influence the extent of these positive brain changes. Aerobic exercises, strength training, and activities that challenge coordination and balance can all have unique benefits for brain health. Additionally, consistency is key, as long-term engagement in regular exercise is more likely to produce lasting cognitive and neurological benefits.

You may also enjoy...