The Impact of Exercising on Brain and Well-being

     Exercise is all sorts of physical activity that an individual does to make their body stronger and healthier. It is common knowledge that making exercise as a routine will make our life better. However, not everyone knows that habitual exercise is beneficial for brain health, such as cognition and mental health, and can even improve your brain’s performance (Hashimoto et al., 2021). Exercise has significant promise for mitigating some of the cognitive and brain deficits resulting from a variety of neurologic, non-neurological, and psychiatric conditions (Stillman et al., 2020). Unfortunately, a healthy lifestyle is still uncommon, so how do we start making exercise our habit? The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that healthy adults aged 18–65 years should perform sufficient volumes of exercise, such as moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 min for 5 days/week or vigorous-intensity exercise for 20 min for 3 days/week. Most importantly, choose the exercise that you like because if you don't like what you are doing, it will all be for nothing.

    However, exercising is not always a good thing, at least in some specific conditions. One of these conditions is when exercise is not about being healthy anymore and it has turned into some kind of addiction. This condition is called EXD (Exercise Dependence). EXD can be defined as compulsive engagement in PA or exercise, and might involve performing excessive amounts of exercise to the detriment of personal, social and professional life, regardless of harmful health consequences. It is characterised by the inability to abstain from exercise. Dependence on exercise can be considered an addictive behaviour, because it presents signs typical of other addictive behaviours, such as mood disturbance and tolerance, relapses, loss of control over the behaviour, abstinence syndrome, and dedicating too much time to the behaviour (Marques et al., 2019).  From these two contradicting researches, we can conclude that exercise is a physical activity that can help us upgrade the quality of our life both physically and mentally. However, exercise can be something bad when it becomes an addiction, caused by the pressure of competition and the expectation of results. What we can do to prevent it is to exercise regularly in a reasonable time and not be too hard on ourselves. 



Hashimoto, T., Tsukamoto, H., Ando, S., & Ogoh, S. (2021). Effect of exercise on brain health: The potential role of lactate as a myokine. In Metabolites (Vol. 11, Issue 12). MDPI. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11120813

Advisory Board and Contents. (2020). Trends in Neurosciences, 43(7), i–ii. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0166-2236(20)30131-4.

Marques, A., Peralta, M., Sarmento, H., Loureiro, V., Gouveia, É. R., & Gaspar de Matos, M. (2019). Prevalence of Risk for Exercise Dependence: A Systematic Review. In Sports Medicine (Vol. 49, Issue 2, pp. 319–330). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-1011-4 

Writer : Steven Andrew Santoso
Editor : Manohara Diwasasri