In this section you will find posts related to exercise and the brain. Whether you are interested in preventing dementia or a healthy pregnancy, exercise is one of the most impactful brain boosters out there. Aerobic exercise has been proven to improve memory and preserve brain health.
While there has been so much attention as of late focused on infectious diseases, there is another epidemic that may have even wider implications—type 2 diabetes. In and of itself, diabetes is a significant life-threatening condition. In addition, it is strongly associated with other important and potentially life-threatening diseases like Alzheimer’s, stroke, kidney disease, coronary artery disease, and even cancer.
According to CDC data from 2018, some 34.2 million Americans, or 10.5% of our population, have diabetes. The percentage of adults with this diagnosis increased with age, affecting more than 25% of those aged 65 years or older. And clearly, the data indicates that these numbers are progressively worsening with time. Continue reading
Yes, what we eat, how well we sleep, and so many other lifestyle choices are really important for our overall health and disease resistance. But how we move, stand, sit and engage our world turns out to be an important health variable as well.
Today we will speak with Aaron Alexander, author of the new book, The Align Method. Aaron, founder of Align Method™, is an accomplished manual therapist and movement coach with over 16 years of professional experience, whose clients range from A-list Hollywood celebrities to professional athletes and everyone in-between. Over the last five years, Aaron has interviewed over 300 of the world’s preeminent thought leaders on physical and psychological well-being on the top-rated Align Podcast, bringing together a variety of diverse perspectives on physical inhabitance. He’s a contributor to major media outlets ranging from Entrepreneur Magazine to MindBodyGreen and can typically be found somewhere in the Pacific Ocean or on Original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California.
The number of Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease has continued to grow at a dramatic rate. Currently, it is estimated that some 5.8 million Americans (of all ages) have Alzheimer’s disease. By and large, this is a disease of elderly individuals, with approximately 5.6 million of those diagnosed age 65 or older. To put that number into context, consider that this means 1 in 10 people age 65 or older suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Further, it is instructive to note that there are some 200,000 individuals here in America under age 65 years who have also been given the diagnosis.
Despite heroic research efforts, Alzheimer’s remains a disease for which there is no cure or meaningful treatment whatsoever. That said, it is critical that we ask ourselves if there is any evidence that the disease could be prevented, or at least explore what could be done to lower one’s risk. Continue reading
How does simply moving around affect the brain? For the past several years I’ve been doing my best to get out the information that shows how aerobic exercise benefits the brain by increasing the growth of new brain cells, as well as reducing the risk for brain degeneration. However, it looks like most adults are not achieving the 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity/week recommended by the 2018 US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Physical Activity Guidelines. In fact, this level of physical activity is only achieved by 57% of adults aged 40-49, and a paltry 26% of those aged 60-69.
That said, researchers recently set about exploring whether simply moving around would have a beneficial impact on brain health. They designed a study of 2,354 participants (with an average age of 53) that ran for three years. The subjects wore an accelerometer that basically determined both the number of steps they took each day as well as the intensity level of their activity. Continue reading
Despite countless hundreds of millions of dollars dedicated to seeking out a meaningful treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, as of the time of this writing the pharmaceutical promise of dealing with this epidemic remains unfulfilled.
So, if there is no meaningful treatment, it would seem sensible to focus on how Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia could be prevented in the first place.
The journal Neurology recently supplied us with a report that offered practitioners an update on suggested treatments for patients with mild cognitive impairment and declining brain health. Their goal is to help practitioners, like myself, understand the most viable treatment options for aiding our patients. Continue reading
Exercise is a healthy choice no matter how you choose to look at it. Research demonstrating the importance of exercise for cardiovascular health dates back at least four decades. Even more recent research shows how important exercise is for not only brain function, but even in terms of reducing dementia risk.
The importance of gut health, and specifically healthy gut bacteria, has really taken center stage in terms of it’s wide ranging effects on overall health and disease resistance. Relevant to today’s blog post, we are now seeing research that adds gut health to the list of benefits associated with physical exercise. Continue reading
I have spoken at length about the importance of exercise for increasing the gene expression of BDNF, a protein that increases the growth of new brain cells. As previously mentioned, research has shown that people with higher levels of BDNF are at a lower risk of developing dementia.
In this new study, exercise in people age 50 or over is demonstrated to have significant effects on cognition. The report is a meta-analysis, meaning a review of other research publications (in this case, 39 studies). It’s a comprehensive look at how exercise impacts the brain!