Have You Seen My Mind? Exercise and Your Brain!

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Your body was meant to move.

Shake your groove thing.

Rock and Roll.

Okay so exercise will help you loose weight, have a healthier heart, stave off cancer, look better in your clothes and keep you looking younger for longer but did you know it can dramatically improve your mind?

Let’s face it, being middle age has its challenges but the ones that are the most distressing are brain fog, slips in memory, depression….

Don’t take it sitting down.  Let’s kick some middle-age mind’s butt!  Let’s stretch first….

“Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning,” says Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey, author of the book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Did you know that aerobic exercise can be as effective as anti-depressants?  It promotes nerve cell growth that may have been damaged by depression. That beats the heck out of medication any day.

Movement transforms your brain.

It not only reduces stress but can reverse it’s affects on the body and brain. Researchers found that stressed-out women who exercised vigorously for an average of 45 minutes over a three-day period had cells that showed fewer signs of aging compared to women who were stressed and inactive. Wow, I feel calmer already!

Exercise enhances learning.  The act of moving and sweating creates new brain connections.  Like your exercise with a does of strategy, like tennis, dancing or riding a bike through traffic? 8-(  Expect to see even more improvement in your ability to learn if you regularly participate in sports that take thought. Complex activities not only have the advantage over more simplistic exercise but you add the intellectual component of strategic thinking -wow that is a twofer!

I wonder if reading while on my elliptical qualifies? 

Who can forget about the improvement in mood and motivation we get from exercise. This is the reason most of us exercise in the morning.  It pumps us up, makes us feel like we can do anything and makes us happy.  This is one of my favorite benefits of exercise. I’m psyched when I finish my 30 minute work-out and that feeling last throughout the day. Whoohooo!

Exercise protects us from mind-robbing diseases such and Alzheimer’s.  This is huge.  Most of us have been affected by or know someone who is by this life-robbing disease.  Exercise appears to protect the hippocampus, which governs memory and spatial navigation, and is one of the first brain regions to succumb to Alzheimer’s-related damage.  A simple walk each day not only can help stave off this disease but slow it’s progression once it has started.

Getting a little yancy aren’t you?   

Yes exercise is great for your body – your whole body.  Let’s do a little age reversal by starting a exercise practice. Nothing complex just a good walk, a dance or zumba video will do just fine.  Find something you like, can stick with and BAM you will be looking and feeling better in no time.

I think I will go jump on that machine and pump up my brain power.

What will you be doing today to BOOST YOUR BRAIN?

photo from freedigitalphotos.net

Want to talk about your health goals? Contact me at MindyKannon@yahoo.com or go to my website at www.mindykannon.com.

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