Let's Move To Help Our Brain
Description: In this episode, Melissa and Maribeth (from ADD Professionals) explain how physical movement helps our brain focus and fight depression.
Let’s take a look at the value of physical movement to our brains!
* More and more studies are showing that, in our gene makeup, we were meant to move. The more we move, the more we are turning on our prefrontal cortex – the smartest part of our brain. Movement actually helps us focus, be more creative and even curbs depression – which is soon to be the number one mental health problem in the world.
* If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, walk some more! Moving our bodies is the number one thing you can do to preserve our brains. We can prevent cognitive decline for 10 to 15 years. We can cut Alzheimer’s in half!
* John Ratey, who wrote Spark, (www.johnratey.com.) did a study showing that brains actually grew with exercise. Kids who were fit, showed better memory skills, and also had a larger hippocampus; showing that fitness increases neurons. The hippocampus, the part of the brain that deals with long term memory, actually grows with exercise.
* So, we can actually effect our brain in a positive way with exercise. We make more dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. These are the happy brain chemicals! Therefore, we are more resistant to stress. This is really good news when we think about stress and the work force!
* Exercise also increases BDNF – a brain fertilizer which helps preserve brain cells.
* If you have a job where you sit all day at your desk, if possible, before work, walk for 20 minutes, go for a run, hop on a treadmill or jump rope. Think about it as turning on your brain in the morning.
* Think of ways you can move at work without missing a beat. Standing desks are wonderful. Studies show we are better at thinking while standing and moving. Google installed walking meetings.
* One thing that I have utilized for movement is sitting on a large exercise ball at my desk, instead of a chair. Through slight movement and use of my core muscles to keep the ball steady, I am able to sustain longer and better focus. I had read about this and shared it with clients, but hadn’t actually put it into practice, until I was taking a two and a half hour, on line class, without a break. After the first hour and a half, I found my mind wondering and my body restless. I decided to buy a big exercise ball, move my chair out and see if it would work for me. It made a huge difference in my concentration, restlessness and mental focus. I have heard the same results from a number of my clients who notice a difference in their cognitive capacity, while getting the added benefit of strengthened core muscles.