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Acute exercise, defined as a single session of physical activity, can offer an array of positive changes in the brain, according to a recent meta-analysis that appeared in the journal Brain Plasticity.
Researchers discovered two main things: First, acute exercise boosted executive function, improved mood, and dropped stress levels. Two, it created widespread changes across the brain at the physiological and chemical levels.
However, the researchers do note that many of the experiments reviewed in this analysis focused on neurochemical changes in rodents as opposed to humans, so more studies will need to be done to confirm that human brains react similarly. Regardless, the study still found that behavioral changes in humans post-exercise are undeniably positive.
“The studies presented in this review clearly demonstrate that acute exercise has profound effects on brain chemistry and physiology, which has important implications for cognitive enhancements in healthy populations,” Julia C. Basso, who co-wrote the study, commented.
Translation? Keep hitting the gym. It’s good for your body and your mind.