How Exercise Can Change Your Brain

Create Long Lasting and Protective Benefits for Your Brain

February, 18

by Lucas (@Cycling4MentalHealth)


Before I begin, let me introduce myself. My name is Lucas, I’m a cycling dad who is passionate about helping and encouraging people on their mental health journey. I do this by sharing my own honest life stories, as well as giving you tips and tools to help you on your journey to freedom. I live in Manchester UK, where I have been based for the last 15 years.

Enjoying very rare moment: cycling outside in winter
My background

I noticed that I was struggling with my mental health after my first child was born. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who has noticed something was wrong, and during a man-to-man chat, he convinced me to seek professional help. Fast forward a few years and I decided to use my “weakness” to help people who may have not benefitted from a helping hand, guiding them on their journey.

I decided to use my “weakness” to help people on their journey with Mental Health.

The idea of @Cycling4MentalHealth was born, with a mission to take down the stigma of mental health and I began to research ways to improve both my physical AND mental health.
So, according to research, by simply moving your body, you can create long lasting and protective benefits for your brain that last a lifetime. The 2 main parts in your brain are: the Prefrontal Cortex responsible for decision making, focus and your personality, and the Temporal Lobe, and inside that you have your Hippocampus critical for building and retaining long term memories.

After climbing few hills in UK’s Peak District had to stop for a quick shot.
2 Main Reasons:

1) A workout will instantly increase levels of serotonin, dopamine that is going to increase your mood right away. It is proven that even a single workout can shift your mood and focus attention by up to 2h. By exercising we produce new brain cells in the hippocampus area, that actually increase its volume. With bigger volume, the hippocampus area will hold your mood for much longer. To make it last a life time we have to change the exercise regime, increase our cardio respiratory function and carry on doing it. How much do I need to exercise I hear you ask, 3 – 4 times a week for at least 30min.

2) Regularly exercising will create protective effects on your brain. And just like a muscle, the more you workout, the bigger and stronger you become. This won’t stop diseases such as depression and anxiety trying to sneak in, but it will make it more difficult for them to enter.

Find more from Lucas
on YouTube, on Instagram
and follow him on Zwift by searching L Lucas(Cycling4MentalHealth)

All photos by Lucas (@Cycling4MentalHealth)

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