Michael Gonzalez-Wallace  
Male, 46
New York, NY

Specialties: strength training, neuroscience, special needs topics

Interests: Medicine, Exercise and Fitness, brain
Super Body, Super Brain
Health and Fitness Expert, Sports Medicine, Bachelor in Economics Science-Exercise: Author of Super Body, Super Brain
646 2514763
New York, NY
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Neurotransmitters and Physical Exercise

Sep 29, 2011 - 16 comments









physical exercise












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Neurotransmitters and Physical Exercise From Super Body, Super Brain Book by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace

"Exercise makes you feel better" You probably have heard this before but the reality is that we have such a wonderful cocktail of brain chemicals that helps us move, communicate, speak and more! One of the greatest ways of improving these brain chemicals is through exercise. Try this exercise to feel how these chemicals function in less than 10 seconds:

From a standing position start clapping and taping as fast as possible. how do you feel? Exactly your brain chemicals are functioning! Exercise improves our brain chemicals. Over hundred studies have shown the incredible benefits of moving.

Neurotransmitters refer to those spaces between nerve cells that different neurotransmitters need to leap across in order to transmit their information to other neurons.

We have billions of neurons does that mean that we have million of neurotransmitters? Absolutely not. Think of our alphabet how many letters do you know? 26? How many words exist? Billions (Robert Sapolsky, neurobiologist Stanford University). So we are looking at thirty neurotransmitters but would like to focus in those ones that are affected by exercise. By the way there are many more but will speak about the following ones:


Dopamine is attracted by novelty, logical reasoning and muscle movement. Dopamine regulates processes that regulate movement, posture, blood pressure and more!


It is one of the most popular neurotransmitters since gets affects our emotional state. Exercise raises our serotonin levels improving its balance


The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the heart, blood vessels, sweat glands, the large internal organs, and the adrenal medulla in the brain. Like dopamine, norepinephrine has a stimulating effect, fosters alertness, and plays an important regulatory role in long-term memory and learning


They are your brain built in chemical system that help us go through pain and also induce mild euphoria. Exercise it is the absolute best way for raising our endorphins levels and trigger that feeling of the 'runners high"

copy and paste to see how neurotransmitters work

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572651 tn?1530999357
by Lulu54, Oct 02, 2011
Dr. Gonzalez-Wallace,

This is a great supplement to the idea we  promote often over on the MS forum on the importance of exercise; I had been focusing primarily on the muscular benefits and  brain plasticity. The benefits of releasing these wonderful chemicals is something I have been overlooking.

Would you also be able to write about the research showing the brain's ability to work around the "potholes" that come from diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and traumatic brain injury?  Is there a relationship between these brain chemicals and plasticity?

aka Lulu54
MS forum


1741471 tn?1407159030
by Michael Gonzalez-WallaceBlank, Oct 03, 2011
Hi Lulu54

Thanks so much for your beautiful comment to my post and regarding to your question I absolutely agree! I am working with patients with MS and Brain stroke and like you said there are changes in brain plasticity and muscle fiber plasticity with specific exercises also the ones involving cardiovascular and complex motor movement (balance, coordination and sensory). I totally agree with you and brain chemicals are so powerful for our emotional well being but also for our neurochemistry. As I said in my post every time that I show how these chemicals work I have them to clap and tap as fast as possible for 10 seconds and immediately every one experiences this incredible rush of energy and excitement. They are specific brain chemicals affected by exercise but the most important ones are the ones that are produced by cardiovascular (raising the heart rate into the aerobic level and the ones induced by complex motor movement (dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine) complex exercises are the ones that make you think, for example raising opposite arm and leg raise or standing one leg up with eyes closed. Of course we can modify these exercises and help the MS and traumatic brain injury get the most benefits...I will try to post soon at that community...thanks so much!

572651 tn?1530999357
by Lulu54, Oct 04, 2011
I appreciate your reply about coming to the MS forum sometime soon  to discuss these chemical changes due to exercise.  I am not able to send you a private message even though you sent me the "friend" invitation.  You may have to send me a private message first before I can send you a repy.

We have had some contentious discussions about the phrase "use it or lose it" as some people with MS feel that it shifts the blame of our disease progression on us instead of the disease.  I am a firm believer that no matter what type of exercise we can perform, we will benefit from it.  That can even be simple chair exercises but getting that message through is often impossible.

There is a wonderful physcial therapist in NYC - Herb Karpatkin - who specializes in MS. His message centers around not giving up and taking the small steps that can lead to greater gains. He even talks about  working with  wheelchair patients and having success in getting them ambulatory again.  

But that message keeps getting lost on people who feel there is nothing they can do in the way of exercise. I could do more than I do now, I recognize how much better I feel every time I have been in class for weight lifting, Tai Chi or Water aerobics.  Each works on a different need and I am not working on having a super model body, just a healthier one.  I started working out because I wanted to have the strength to propel my own wheelchair. Now I am at the point that I'm thinking most days  I won't end up in that chair at all.

I hope something in this rambling makes sense.  I look forward to reading more of your work with people with MS.

be well,
Aka Lulu

1753425 tn?1312423082
by shesagapeach, Oct 13, 2011
What information could you give me relating to exercise & improving brain function particularly in reference to children that have a history of brain damage resulting from a stoke at age 2 & seizure activity. I would like to know what I can do to help. She has significant developmental delays & a vision impairment as well. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Crystal R.

1843060 tn?1318789320
by tommaguire, Oct 16, 2011
Doctor I got a car accident and after some years I  found a doctor which  discover that a got a brain stem injury.I have always problems with double vision and  pressure in the head and headache. When the doctor move my head from one side to another he discover also that I have oscillopsia.
I try to keep myself in good condition doing all kind of condition training but I alway"s need to stop due to the pressure in my brain.
When taking antibiotics I feel that the pressure in my head is better till I move my head again.
From six years I stopped to work in my own company because I feel empty.
Sincerely Greetings Tom Maguire

1741471 tn?1407159030
by Michael Gonzalez-WallaceBlank, Oct 21, 2011
Hi Lulu54 thanks so much for your interesting suggestion! Yes I am truly excited with my work with MS since I see really interesting results especially in the areas of balance, coordination, flexibility and energy  but in order to do that I found out that short and effective sessions are likely to be the best ones....lets keep chatting since I find that you speak with passion and wise knowledge :)

1741471 tn?1407159030
by Michael Gonzalez-WallaceBlank, Oct 21, 2011
Hi shesagapeach, Crystal. Yes I have been working with children with the same conditions and there is so much we can do!!....Regarding your children you need to test if she is able to do balance exercises, coordination, tossing a ball and so on. Hiking it is an excellent exercise when comes to motor planning and executive function, however not sure how limited your kid is. Sometimes that there is a stroke at an early age, sensory networks are mainly affected, some of the kids develop SPD (sensory processing disorder) although not always. I would suggest that you spend time with your kid trying to get her move in a specific way and see how she improves throughout time.

If you have suggestions I would love to help!

Thanks for your question!

1741471 tn?1407159030
by Michael Gonzalez-WallaceBlank, Oct 21, 2011
@  tommaguire Hi Tom and thanks for posting this interesting question. Clearly the brain stem is where all the information, blood travels to get to the brain is almost like a bridge so it is clear that if you have an injury you must pay attention to your doctor and It doesn't surprise me that you have those pressures in your head. However I want you to think out of the box since the brain it is so complicated but also so exciting.

Every time you do an exercise make sure you do not feel that pressure. In other words you may be able to do it 5 times instead of 20. For example I am shooting you an exercise: Start clapping and tapping for 10 seconds and stop, It is extremely important that you feel no pressure in your brain. Second exercise: raise opposite arm and leg and change sides, do it ten times and last exercise. From a standing position raise one leg and keep it holding for ten seconds then change legs. Make sure you rest at least one minute between exercises to allow your system to recover.

Let me know how it goes and make sure you are approved to exercise, my guess is that you will feel better and better.

Try these exercises in front of your doctor and go very slowly at the beginning...

572651 tn?1530999357
by Lulu54, Oct 21, 2011
Much of what you say about the short uses of exercise are a large part of the exercise strategy that Dr. Karpatkin uses. And I have heard other MS exercise specialists talk to this same point. As MS patients, it does us no good to push our bodies to the point of exhaustion and beyond.  If the goal is to walk for 15  minutes, it is much better to do 3 - five minutes stretches with rest in between that allows the body to recover/stabilize, than to go 15 minutes straight and wear down our body to the point it takes longer to recover.  

It can be such a difficult concept to practice because we are all pushed to do the marathon sessions by well-intentioned friends, family and even medical folks who don't understand this idea.  


1741471 tn?1407159030
by Michael Gonzalez-WallaceBlank, Oct 29, 2011
HI Laura and you are right! What i find really interesting is that most of the studies are focused that our first ten to twenty minutes are likely to be the best ones: brain chemicals are awake, muscles are awake, heart is pumping blood, hormones are active so we need to make sure that those first minutes are the most effective possible ones when comes to a physical program, especially when incorporating cardiovascular, motor plasticity, and strength training.

Here i wanted to share few interesting studies with you:

Exercise can protect from multiple sclerosis especially the aerobic workout

Lifting weights can improve muscle strength and quality of life for people afflicted with the degenerative disease multiple sclerosis, a new University of Florida study finds.

572651 tn?1530999357
by Lulu54, Oct 30, 2011
Thanks, I always love reading research that supports the idea that we need to move and the beneficial sides of that activity for people with MS.  I'm going to again post the link to your thoughts here over on the MS forum and encourage others to stop by and read you suggestions.

be well, L

1740498 tn?1328962585
by beachcomber13, Oct 30, 2011
Lulu, thanks for sharing the link. And Michael, I appreciate this information.

What are your thoughts on exercising while in a relapse?

I have never been in a gym and would not even know where to begin as far as lifting weights. Before I had MS, I kept sort of reasonably in shape with swimming in the ocean, skiing, and chasing after preschoolers all day. Formal exercise would be a new experience for me, but I would like to try. How can I know how much weight to use and the types of movements that would help me?

572651 tn?1530999357
by Lulu54, Nov 04, 2011
Beachcomber, I hadn't  been in a gym for almost 30 years when I returned.  It can be intimidating at first, but don't give it to the fear.   A good gym will have lots of people willing to show you how to use their equipment and get you into a routine.  good luck1!

1741471 tn?1407159030
by Michael Gonzalez-WallaceBlank, Nov 05, 2011
Hi Lulu54! thanks for suggesting my post to different members from the MS community. There is so much we can do and specific exercises can help them so much!! I hope you are all well....and we should think of doing some weekly recommendations for MS what do you think?

Hope you are well!

1741471 tn?1407159030
by Michael Gonzalez-WallaceBlank, Nov 05, 2011
Hi Beachcomber!! yes love that question!!...my suggestions is that you need to work with your own body first so you can gain confidence progressively: Bike better then treadmill at the beginning, light weights better than heavy weights. Lots of flexibility exercises. If you want to try my exercises I have a book called Super Body, Super Brain that you can follow simple exercises. Otherwise start by raising opposite arm and leg following by clapping and tapping and stretching you legs by reaching out to your knees and followed by stretching your lower back.

Please let me know how it goes and I hope you feel better than ever....ask me any questions if needed....

Avatar universal
by sumonglobe, Dec 22, 2011
to Michael Gonzalez-Wallace
sir i was diagnised panic attack for anxiety and insomnia...i was prescribed revotril .5 mg and amytriptiline 10 mg...i took it for 5 months and then i tapper off....coz i was facing memory problem as well as concentration.... i tapper of by 1/2 for two weeks and then 1/4 for another 2 weeks....

i am 28 years old....76 kg weight...5.5 inches....

i was a chain smoker and quit 6 months ago when i was prescribed medicine....

before 6 months ago nothing was found in my test except low white blood count and low red blood count....

now i am facing photophobia and phonophobia....and i feel dizzy all day long....but i feel well at night....i sleep 4/5 hours only....i cant sleep well because i cant take breath and i feel anxious when i m trying to sleep....
now what i will do now to cure those problems...thanks........

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