Fit Tip # 115 Up the Ante
Did you know that our brains shrink over time? That explains it, some of you are thinking. The average 90-year-old has only half of the wiring they once had. The good news? Brains grow. Multi-sensory stimulation, novelty, enriched environments, and brainteasers promote neural plasticity by challenging the brain to work in new ways. But here’s the kicker: Exercise seems to have the most significant impact on maintaining brain health. If Sudoku is the shovel, exercise is the bulldozer. The hippocampus, in particular – responsible for memory, grows most significantly from the challenge of exercise. So if you want to hang onto your marbles … EXERCISE!
Exercise halts brain damage. It regenerates both white and grey matter. It stems from cognitive decline. Exercise stimulates all aspects of cognition; improved reasoning, spatial functioning, processing speed, decision-making, learning of balance, and several kinds of memory. Exercise helps to eliminate stress and renovate the part of the brain that manages stress. Exercise makes us relaxed and happy in a deep and lasting way. Exercise bolsters our claims of us that normal aging erodes. It adds life to our years!
- Boosts our central command functions – think critically & deal with ambiguity.
- Re-insulates, the axons of the brain cells, boosting processing speed & more reliable connections
- Cognitive multiplier effect – sparks the production of neurotransmitters and creates more receptors for neurotransmitters in critical areas of the brain.
- It turns on genes that keep that positive cycle spinning.
Resistance (strength) training:
- Improves executive control – scheduling, planning & dealing with ambiguity
- Produces brain-building proteins (neurotrophins) that signal the brain to survive and renew
- Pump the heart and at the same time perform more skillful, more complex movements, creating a superpower boost
- Combine spatial orientation + variety + explosive heart pump in short blasts gives the best results
Sweat equity: intensity and rigor count:
- The hippocampus grows quantitively concerning intensity.
- Intensity concentrates the physiological benefits of exercise.
- The level of effort is what promotes remarkable recovery.
- 10 minutes of high intensity makes you much fitter than 120 mins of light moving around
- Intensity concerns an individual’s activity level and ability – try for 80% of your maximum heart rate for short bursts, alternate between intensity and rest (recuperation)
- Exercise becomes really beneficial when you sweat. Harder is better as long as you don’t injure yourself.
Exercise buys us a chance at a long life by lowering the risk of various ailments. It reverses the effects of a bad genetic hand (i.e., switches off genes that pre-dispose us to obesity) and promotes the growth of stem cells in muscles. Younger every step of the way! You get the ‘ synergy effect when you add exercise to anything. Exercise makes every good habit more potent. You can introduce exercise at any point right up into very old age and reverse decline! So up the ante on your exercise regime, everyone. Go for it!