Benefits of Physical Activity on the Brain

The health benefits of physical activity are seen in EVERYONE!!! From children to older adults, women and men, people of different races and ethnicities, and even people with chronic conditions; the health benefits can be seen in everyone. The benefits of physical activity are completely independent of body weight. The benefits that physical activity have on our physical body are more widely known, but it can also help your brain functions! The benefits of physical activity on the brain are immediate, long lasting and protective.  


  • Increases the levels of neurotransmitters
    • Including: dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline- all will immediately improve your mood
  • Improves the ability to shift and focus attention for at least 2 hours


  • Produces new brain cells in the hippocampus which improves your long-term memory
  • Improves attention function that is dependent on the prefrontal cortex


  • Increases the size of the two areas of the brain that are most susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases (prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus) 
  • Can make it take longer for diseases to take effect

When do these benefits occur?

Immediately! All other benefits of physical activity begin with just 60 minutes a week. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines, research shows that reducing the risk of many chronic diseases can occur with at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. Achieving this goal can be accomplished with simply brisk walking. 

Picture of the brain displaying the Prefrontal Cortex, Temporal Lobe, and Hippocampus

The brain-changing benefits of exercise | Wendy Suzuki



  • Awesome! Now I know how to make my brain happy by going to work out, but how do I convince my brain to get me to actually GO to they gym?