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.
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!
Using an elliptical machine is a great way to get your daily aerobic exercise in. It’s low impact and strengthens both lower and upper extremities. But I frequently see a lot of people making this one mistake when on the machine and this can lead to some game-changing foot problems.
Dr. Perlmutter demonstrates classic sit-ups.
Dr. Perlmutter demonstrates triceps extensions, an incredibly important exercise for building a strong body. You can read more about this exercise in The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan, in which Dr. Perlmutter shares his favorite exercises for strengthening and toning your body.
Livestrong offers some further guidance on why strengthening your triceps is critical for your health:
The triceps help stabilize your shoulder joint and they act as an extensor of the elbow and shoulder. As your triceps become stronger with these exercises, the strength and stability of your shoulders and elbows increase. The functionality, flexibility and range of motion of your arm increases the more you work and strengthen these muscles. As a result, your performance improves in sports that require arm movements and upper body strength such as tennis, swimming, volleyball and basketball.