Category Archives: books & movies

29Mar

THIS IS YOUR (NEW) BRAIN ON EXERCISE

brainexerciseHmmm, should I or shouldn’t I? It’s 19 degrees outside, I’d much rather curl up with a book (who am I kidding, I have a 2 year old at home!) and there are still 3 solid months before I have to don a bathing suit!   BUT, beyond the very obvious benefits of physical activity (toning muscles, improving heart and lung function, reducing my risk of major diseases, and even adding years to my life (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389) the evidence behind exercise and improving cognitive functioning has really inspired me to get up and get moving on some of the coldest and laziest of days.  And this is why; thank you, Dr. David Perlmutter, for your summary!

Physical exercise is one of the most potent ways of changing your genes; put simply, when you exercise, you literally exercise your genes.  Aerobic exercise in particular not only turns on genes linked to longevity, but also targets the BDNF gene, the brain’s “growth hormone.”  More specifically, exercise has been shown to increase BDNF, reverse memory decline in elderly humans, and actually increase growth of new brain cells in the brain’s memory center.  Exercise isn’t just for trim looks and a strong heart; perhaps its most powerful effects are going on silently in the upstairs room where our brains reside . . . which gives a whole new meaning to the phase “jog your memory”. 

In the past decade we have really been able to quantify and qualify the extraordinary relationship between physical fitness and mental fitness. . . The newest findings make it undeniably clear that the link between exercise and brain health isn’t just a relationship.  In the worlds of science writer, Gretchen Reynolds for the New York Times, “It is the relationship.”  Exercise, according to the latest science, “appears to build a brain that resists physical shrinkage and enhances cognitive flexibility.”  And this, my friends, many mean that there is no greater tool at our fingertips than physical movement.

 

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18Mar

“The fate of your health – and peace of mind – is largely in your hands.”

Started out reading this with an air of skepticism… but i’m highly enlightened by Dr. Perlmutter’s evidence.  He demonstrates over and over again how food choices can bring inflammation under control by changing the expression of our genes.  It’s so exciting to know that we are NOT destined to develop any one of many ugly diseases just because our moms, dads, grandparents had them… while we might be predisposed, the food we eat and the lifestyle choices we make carry more weight (hehe -unintentional pun) than we may be inclined to believe….  I love this line,  it’s about “taking charge of your brain’s destiny, despite your DNA.”

Whether you ascribe to one diet or another, no judgement or criticism… I think the most important thing for each of us to do is to keep an open mind and to LISTEN to what our bodies are telling us.

 

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