The Effects of Acute Exercise on Mood, Cognition, Neurophysiology, and Neurochemical Pathways: A Review.
Brain Plast. 2017 Mar 28 ;2(2):127-152. Epub 2017 Mar 28. PMID: 29765853
Julia C Basso
A significant body of work has investigated the effects of acute exercise, defined as a single bout of physical activity, on mood and cognitive functions in humans. Several excellent recent reviews have summarized these findings; however, the neurobiological basis of these results has received less attention. In this review, we will first briefly summarize the cognitive and behavioral changes that occur with acute exercise in humans. We will then review the results from both human and animal model studies documenting the wide range of neurophysiological and neurochemical alterations that occur after a single bout of exercise. Finally, we will discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and missing elements in the current literature, as well as offer an acute exercise standardization protocol and provide possible goals for future research.