Bipolar Disorders and Exercise: Working Out Can Tone Up Your Neurotransmitters – Arnrow

neurotransmittersNeurotransmitters are the chemicals that your brain cells (neurons) use to transmit information, without them we cannot think or act.

It is no wonder that too much or too little of any one particular neurotransmitter can have substantial effects on how our body and brain functions.

For example, people with mood disorders tend to have low levels of the four major neurotransmitters (also called monaminergic neurotransmitters), which affect mood, energy, and concentration levels.

Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan of the International Society for Bipolar Disorder recently presented a webinar entitled, “Exercise Treatment for Mood Disorders: A Neurobiological Rationale” that explores how exercising can benefit people with low levels of these monaminergic neurotransmitters:

1. Noradrenaline (affects anxiety, energy and focus)

2. Serotonin (important for depression, sleep, appetite, sexual function)

3. Dopamine (important for motivation,  reward and pleasure)

4. Phenylethylamine (improves mood and helps people feel good… interestingly also found in chocolate!)

Dr. Alsuwaidan says that as little as 20-30 minutes of high intensity workouts 5-7 times a week can help with these neurotransmitter deficiencies! What do you think? Do these findings make you want to get out of your house and moving? For those who do exercise regularly, do you find that you are often in a better mood and have higher energy levels throughout the day than when you didn’t workout? Let us know!