Fitness Matters, Wellness Works! Rev Up Your Brain with Exercise

Close up shot of crossword puzzle and pen
Crossword/dslwc/CC/flickr

Rev Up Your Brain with Exercise

“The more neuroscientists discover about this process, the clearer it becomes that exercise provides an unparalleled stimulus, creating an environment in which the brain is ready, willing, and able to learn.” -John Ratey from “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.”

There are lots of good reasons for adults to exercise. Exercise improves circulation, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. It also reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis, strengthens muscles, improves mobility, combats depression and mental illness, and prevents obesity and obesity-related threats to our health such as heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.

If this isn’t enough motivation, use exercise to stimulate your brain and ward off brain dysfunction. In his book “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain,” Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey says that emerging research shows, “physical activity sparks biological changes in the brain that encourage brain cells to bind to one another. For the brain to learn, these connections must be made […] The more neuroscientists discover about this process, the clearer it becomes that exercise provides an unparalleled stimulus, creating an environment in which the brain is ready, willing, and able to learn.” He states that, “If your brain isn’t actively growing, it is dying.”

Aerobic exercise (rhythmic steady exercise that requires oxygen) improves the oxygen transport to starving brain cells, stimulating brain function that includes mental acuity and memory. For adults exercise provides both prevention and remedy. Even people with early signs of Alzheimer ’s disease benefit from the mental stimulation exercise provides.

Ratey indicates that, “Exercise is the single most powerful tool you have to optimize your brain function. Moving keeps the brain growing.” So to stay healthy and to grow your brain, find an activity you enjoy and participate in it on a regular basis! Better yet, join us in preparing for the 5K Fun Run on May 5 at Wheeler Farm in Murray, Utah. Next week, we’ll post a training schedule to get you ready for this event.

Health and Fitness Newsletter

You may sign up to receive an electronic newsletter, which will be sent four times over the course of the school year. Each edition will have suggestions to improve your activity levels and nutritional habits, plus dates of upcoming events. To get more of our educational community involved, please forward the newsletter to colleagues who will benefit from renewed healthy habits.

To sign up for our mailing list go to: https://lists.uen.org/mailman/listinfo/utahhealth-pe/

For questions or comments about the Superintendent’s Fitness Challenge, contact USOE Health and P.E. Curriculum Specialist Frank Wojtech at frank.wojtech@schools.utah.gov or Jamie Ney at jamie.ney@schools.utah.gov.

Related posts:

Comments are closed.