Minnesota Chiropractor St Paul MN | Health & Wellness
When people think about staying fit, they generally think from the neck down. But the health of your brain plays a critical role in almost everything you do: thinking, feeling, remembering, working, playing, and even sleeping.
About 36 million people in the world have dementia today. This number will nearly double every 20 years, to an estimated 65.7 million in 2030, and 115.4 million in 2050.
The good news is that emerging evidence suggests there are steps you can take to help keep your brain healthier as you age. That’s right! Cognitive decline is not inevitable!
Memory Can Be Improved With Physical Activity
Most of us know that physical exercise is good for our general health, but did you know that physical exercise is also good for your brain? If you think you’re going to get smarter sitting in front of your computer or watching television, think again. There is scientific evidence that proves a healthy human being is a human doing.
Finally, there’s a breakthrough method to delay aging, increase brain volume, and improve memory. It’s called… “Exercise!”
Science shows us that aerobic activity can improve mental processes such as planning, multitasking, focusing without getting distracted, and making and remembering associations (e.g., banking away the name and face of a new acquaintance or remembering where you left your keys). Mounting research suggests that regular sweat sessions can help keep your brain fit too.
Aerobic Exercise Improves Brain Power
The hippocampus is important to memory and shrinks in later adulthood if aerobic exercise is not used regularly.
What… Exercise!? Oh yeah. A recent study from the University of Pittsburgh shows that aerobic exercise training increases the size of the anterior hippocampus, leading to improvements in spatial memory. Spatial memory refers to our ability to store and access information. Around late adulthood (>60 yrs old), the hippocampus begins to shrink, leading to impaired memory and an increased risk for dementia. Exercise helps prevent such loss by slowing and even reversing the shrinkage.
As health care costs continue to skyrocket and the proportion of the population over 65 grows, researchers are looking for low-cost means to treat and prevent brain tissue loss associated with aging. The 120-person (ages 55-80) yearlong study provides evidence that aerobic exercise training can bolster hippocampus volume in late adulthood, thus improving spatial memory.
Both The Body and Brain Benefit From Exercise!
Simply put, researchers discovered the exercise we should already be doing doubles as bodybuilding for the brain.
The researchers note that more studies are needed in order to understand how specific aspects of exercise influence brain physiology and function in humans, but there’s still plenty of evidence that physical activity can make you a better student, help you be more productive at work, and keep you sharp as a tack later in life.
Regular aerobic exercise can improve your memory, but logging some time on the treadmill may not be the only way to improve memory. Other studies suggest that good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle go hand in hand. A diet low in calories and high in unsaturated fats can also be beneficial for memory performance. (Studies have shown that diets rich in saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and or cholesterol can impair cognitive performance, memory and hippocampal morphology).
PMID: 21282661 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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Do You Want To Look and Feel Better?
Start slowly! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t become fit over night. If you do too much too soon and don’t ease into the routine by gradually increasing your intensity, frequency, and duration, you will most likely fail. Also, you will miss the process of becoming fit. Worse yet, an injury may prevent you from continuing to exercise at all.
Pick a Sport that Meets Your Needs
Also, if you used to exercise and just took a break for awhile, do not pick up where you left off! This almost always turns into an injury. Again, start slowly. Injuries can occur if you start physical activity too quickly, with too much intensity, or for too long. Make gradual increases and you will see the results over time!
Make a pit stop at the Chiropractor before you get moving. Whether you want to shed that excess weight permanently, optimize your athletic performance for an upcoming event, control a health issue naturally, or just enjoy more energy and better health each day, but you are not sure of the next step, a St Paul MN Chiropractor may be exactly what you need to come up with an exercise program that matches your needs, abilities and physical condition. Your Minnesota Chiropractor is also an excellent source for keeping you up to date on the latest nutrition news.
Along the way, they’ll challenge you, change your outlook and build your self-image and confidence, with results that extend far beyond the mirror. You will not only look better, you will feel better, you will live longer and you will be able to continue to do the things you enjoy well into your Golden Years!
If you’re already active, keep it up. It may even be time to push yourself a little harder, try a new activity, or find new ways to add exercise to your daily life. Don’t worry if you’ve never exercised, or if you stopped exercising for some reason. Let us help you get moving.