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Sure, we now know that physical activity improves our mood, outlook on life, and overall physical and mental health! But how exactly does it do those things? If we look to biology, and biological studies based on human internal systems and physiology, we can see that the processes that occur with physical activity create benefits for the body. It has been proven scientifically that regular exercise can have a profound effect on depression, anxiety, ADHD and many other conditions. Physical activity helps depression as it behaves like an

antidepressant and can even prevent relapse! It releases endorphins to cause euphoria and serve as a distraction, diverting the mind from negative thoughts. In addition, exercise also helps anxiety through mindfulness and taking into cognitive recognition calming aspects of exercise; the repetitive motifs of heartbeat, breathing, and exercises. Even conditions like ADHD can be remedied by exercise, because any physical activity boosts the levels of

dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain, which are chemicals that enhance focus, concentration, and attention. This is similar to how ADHD medications such as Ritalin and the much too well known Adderall work! With the above said, we have only touched the tip of the iceberg pertaining to how physical exercise can help with mental health in the reductionist view of chemistry. Even if you dislike chemistry with a passion, and feel stressed

about school (which, everyone is), know that physical activity can actually help that stress by releasing a potent concoction of “feel good” hormones into your bloodstream to combat that stress! So, take your newfound (or redundant) information and enjoy euphoria from exercise!


By: Eric Liu

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