Brain Death Diet: Movement Is A Potent Brain Food

Hello again everyone:

Our brain is a sensory-based organ, and that means that it requires environmental stimulation through the senses in order to function properly and optimally. We have 5 senses that deliver a constant stream of information to our brain that give the central nervous system the information that it requires to control, coordinate and regulate all of our systems to keep us healthy. As it turns out, the only constant stimulation to our brain is…well…it is NOT seeing, hearing, taste, smell or touch…but it is the constant stimulation from gravity that gives our brain a baseline level of excitation. Gravity is a major brain food, and a lack of stimulation to our gravity sensing systems that results from sitting and other sedentary activities has a significant negative impact on all of our brain functions, from cognitive abilities to mood control and memory. The hippocampus is the area of the brain associated with memory and is strongly promoted with exercise while sedentary behavior allows hippocampal atrophy (shrinkage).

“Every hour spent sedentary is associated with a higher mild cognitive impairment risk.”

In contrast, Vitamin M (Movement) is a phenomenal nutrient for super neurologic health.

“…during the past twenty years, it has been robustly shown that exercise is a potent inducer of hippocampal neurogenesis (growth), and it is believed that the positive beneficial effect of exercise on cognitive function is likely due to its pro-neurogenic effects….. Here we review the current literature on exercise-induced effects on hippocampal neurogenesis, cognitive function and neuro-inflammation, and consider exercise as a potential pro-neurogenic and anti-inflammatory intervention for cognition.”

Bottom Line: As part of a brain healthy lifestyle, consider exercise as a part of your neurologic nutritional needs. It can be as simple as going for a walk, getting a standing desk, parking farther from the store, using stairs whenever possible, or planned exercise such as a run/walk, strength training, and yoga (especially yoga!). Start now, don’t stop, do it for optimal life expression and think about the time you invest as the least expensive and most effective type of health insurance available for your brain and total health. Look at the good news that this paper reveals: even a little Vitamin M is good!!

Conclusions and Relevance: “ Every additional hour of light-intensity PA (Physical Activity) was associated with higher brain volumes, even among individuals not meeting current PA guidelines. These data are consistent with the notion that the potential benefits of PA on brain aging may accrue at a lower, more achievable level of intensity or duration.”

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