Exercise to change your brain

We know you’ve heard it all before but exercise really does change your mood for the better and during these uncertain times your brain might just need a little help.

Many surveys and much research over several decades has revealed the undeniable truth that exercise boosts your mood because it fundamentally changes your brain, both in the moment and over time.

If you can forgive us for getting a bit science obsessed, research shows that after 20 or 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins that interact with receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain, which means you’re more likely to feel positive and upbeat. It also releases other mood-enhancing chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that can stick around in your brain for a couple of hours after you exercise.

Plus, you can eat cake afterwards.

If you’re looking for motivation then Lauren Parker, from our Industrial Disease Team in Chester, has found it by signing up to the Strava group Run-to-boston-for-eva.eventbrite.co.uk for Carran Williams’ little girl, Eva. In January of this year, Eva was diagnosed with a very rare type of brain tumour, which effects a small number of children each year. The family is fundraising to take Eva to America for the treatment she needs.

The Run to Bostin is a virtual run of 5000km and started on May 17 but you can still join. It’s cost £12 to take part. Click here to read about Eva and the fundraising efforts to get her treatment.

Lauren has not stopped here run there and she says: “I’ve also joined a group from my running club to virtually run from John O’Groats to Lands End, we’re called the Lejog Quaranteeners. I’m also signed up for RBR (which stands for Run B*tch Run) to run or walk a marathon or more. I’m aiming for the triple marathon and I’m currently 56 miles in so I’ve only got 22 miles to go in 8 days!”

If you’re not a runner then many of you are doing PE with Jo Wicks every weekday morning at 9am. It’s a 30 minute workout for kids and adults.

Stuart Hughes, from our Marketing Team, tries his best to get his daughters to take part before doing school work. Here is his youngest (on the right) putting in no effort. Fiona Hendry even gets her girls to do the fancy dress Friday special with Joe. Here is Fiona in a Disney Stitch onesie just about to do some lunges (photograph on the left).


Amanda Sellar, from our Serious Injury Team in Manchester, recommends Yoga with Adrienne. Adrienne does various 30 day online courses and has loads of resources to help you get started. Amanda also enjoys running, walking and cycling but relaxes and winds-down with the Honest Guys on YouTube. These guys guide you through meditation with online videos and they’re extremely popular.

Of course the purest and simplest form of exercise is simply getting out for a walk. An hours walk a day has been proved to cut heart disease, lift your mood, strengthen bone density, benefit digestion, improve your immunity system, boost vitamin D, help with weight loss and aid productivity in work.

Jonathan Dickson, from our IT Team, tries to get out as much as possible to exercise himself and his dogs. From his photographs below you can see why!

Jon says: “We walk to discover the delights of the Peak District on our doorstep. We found this great walk up to a viewing spot known to locals as Big Stone. Panoramic views out to Kinder Scout and towards Buxton.”