Time to get on your feet, dust off your will power and consider that it’s not just those skinny jeans that will get you motivated to move! Exercise affects your cognitive ability in a big way by raising your IQ, warding off Alzheimer ‘s and dementia, preventing and treating depression and slowing the effects of aging! A New York Times Article: Exercise and the Even Smarter Human Brain suggests that “we are clever today in part because a million years ago, we could outrun and outwalk most other mammals over long distances. Our brains were shaped and sharpened by movement and we continue to require regular physical activity in order for our brains to function optimally.” Another New York Times article, Fit Body, Fit Brain also discusses the benefits of exercise for the brain.
Clary and I were fortunate enough to attend a lecture by Dr. John Ratey, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and author of Spark. Dr. Ratey ascertains that exercise is overwhelmingly more beneficial for the brain – improving memory, focus, cognitive functioning, and mood – and the physical changes we see from exercise are more of a side effect. In his book Spark, Dr. Ratey writes that exercise improves our ability to learn and makes us smarter, even as we age by increasing blood flow to the brain, creating a surge in protective neurochemicals and allowing the brain to grow.
Studies also indicate the positive effects exercise has on mood, hormonal changes in women and overall state of happiness. One study he referenced, showed that a brisk 20-minute walk a day is just as effective to treat mild depression as taking Zoloft. Just imagine what one hour of Hilliard Studio Method can accomplish!
For more information on exercise and its effects on your brain, please visit http://sparkinglife.org