The brain is a special organ that develops by interacting with its surrounding through action and perception. In a recent study published by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (2012), physical exercise has been revealed to improve cognition and increase brain volume in a trial of elderly people in China with no dementia. Endorphins, the body chemical secreted by the pituitary gland to respond to pain or any stressful stimuli, works by binding to opioid receptors in the neurons, causing blockage of neurotransmitter release. Neurons are normally made in the hippocampus and the hippocampus normally shrinks as we age, causing impaired memory and greater risk for dementia. The specific mechanism has not yet established but experts believe at the cellular level, it is possible exercise-related stress can trigger an influx of calcium, activating transcription factors existing in neurons. Altogether, engaging in active lifestyle through exercising regularly is an effective means of optimizing cognitive function. Researchers were able to artificially increase the levels of irisin in the blood to activate genes involved in learning and memory. The team also found that raising levels of irisin in the circulation caused the molecule to cross the blood brain barrier, where it increased expression of BDNF and activated genes involved in cognition. Exercise can improve cognitive function and has been linked to the increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). I’ve also measured a marked increase in retention when memorizing GRE words while jogging over memorizing them while sitting.
October 15, 2013 by Chris I read sonewhere that this might also have to do with the subconcious Part of the Brain which thinks of a Million Things all the time. October 14, 2013 by Gorden Russell Let me make up my own mind…just show me that pic. The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence newsletter concisely covers relevant major science and technology breakthroughs (daily or weekly) via e-mail.
I can definetly see how excersie would make you able to reatin more information, which essentially would make you "smarter".
I can totally relate to this article because I went from dancing every day after school to hardly at all.
The transition from high school, where playing a seasonal sport pretty much guaranteed a "fit body", to college where it is completely optional is quite a change.
However, brain health plays an integral role in nearly everything we do – feeling, working, thinking, eating, and even sleeping. Stimulating the brain through mental exercises, for instance, actually will protect it from mental decline.

But it seems it’s not only the body that benefits from regular exercise, but also mental health too. In addition, a new research published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences proves adults exercising at least 40 minutes per week are found to have bigger volume of neuron within the hippocampus – a brain center for learning and memory. However, one of the remarkable effects of exercise to the brain is that it can cause neurogenesis – the formation of new neurons.
These transcription factors stimulate the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene, which makes BDNF proteins – responsible for promoting neurogenesis. Besides maintaining good brain function, exercising offers a multitude of goodness for the body including maintaining heart health, improving good mood and stamina, controlling weight, and much more.
BDNF is the master regulator of nerve-cell survival, differentiation, and plasticity in the brain. Now investigators have identified a molecule called irisin that is produced in the brain during endurance exercise and has neuroprotective effects. The findings may be useful for designing drugs that use this exercise-induced molecule to guard against neurodegenerative diseases and improve cognition in the aging population. One important player is thought to be a growth factor named brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Bruce Spiegelman of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School found that a molecule called FNDC5 and its cleavage product, irisin, are elevated by endurance exercise in the brain and increase BDNF expression. The researchers next plan to work on developing a stable form of the irisin protein that can be given to mice by injection and may augment the brain’s natural anti-degeneration pathways. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms driving the elevation of this neurotrophin remain unknown.
Both lifting, olympic style compound lifts and cardio have made a measurable difference in my ability to concentrate and problem solve. No longer are we playing sports every day after school, only drinking once a week, and eating mothers home cooked meals. However, knowing that exercise has benefits other than the "good looks" is just another motive for me now! While working out may be physically tiring the increased blood flow helps you become more alert when its test time. Both aerobic exercise time, and help to strengthen the power of health.In addition, exercise can improve mental health, have positive effects on some of the most important organs of the human body, including the heart and brain but also on other systems such as the muscular and skeletal system.
Fortunately, there are recent studies suggesting effective ways to maintain brain health and keep it sharp as you age.

Aside from that research reveals elderly people who exercise at mild to moderate intensity for a year have improved brain volume in the hippocampus. As far as regular exercising is concerned, it stimulates endorphin release, causing reduction of the discomfort felt during exercise. On the other hand, mice genetically altered to have low irisin levels in the brain had reduced levels of BDNF. Here we show that FNDC5, a previously identified muscle protein that is induced in exercise and is cleaved and secreted as irisin, is also elevated by endurance exercise in the hippocampus of mice. The website below lists seven potential benefits of working out, many related to learning and mood. As we grow old, our motor and memory skills gradually decline – this often results from lack of mental stimulation. It is also associated to the feeling of euphoria, although there are still some uncertainties if endorphins are directly linked for it. I actually enjoy working out before exams, or even before my classes, simply because it wakes me up.
I feel so energized and motivated to continue my day after a good work out, without even knowing of the other benefits it has.
Taken together, our findings link endurance exercise and the important metabolic mediators, PGC-1? and FNDC5, with BDNF expression in the brain. Although this study is mainly targeted at trying to bring back phys ed classes to schools, it can also be true for people our age. A study done by American College of Sports Medicine found that a children who exercised for ten minutes before a test scored better than those who didn't. Studies have shown that children should be exercising for at least an hour each day, which most children aren't.
This function becomes more important as you grow older in order to retain information and memory better.

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