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Exercise to Keep Your Brain Healthy!

Girl stretching after a run outside

Research shows that maintaining a normal weight helps protect your brain. Overweight or obesity symptoms are more likely to be associated with impaired cognitive function later in life. Combine these with symptoms of high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, and the decline rate is much faster. Current trends focus on maintaining a healthy body weight and the present overall body health. Most research shows to maintain a healthy body weight, 80% is nutrition and 20% exercise.

Let’s move beyond nutrition, beyond current healthy body weight. What keeps the brain strong? What will maintain a healthy brain into later years? Exercise - exercise that includes functional movement.

Exercise should be intense enough to not only raise the heart beat and increase blood flow, but also include movements which utilize multiple muscle groups simultaneously to replicate functional, daily movements; lifting, stretching, turning, stooping. By coordinating movements simultaneously, neuromuscular pathways of the brain are built and strengthened; developing mind-to-muscle communication.

Developing strong mind-to-muscle communication is the process that ignites movement from brain waves. Every movement is driven by neurological impulses. Having strong mind-to-muscle communication allows for safe physical reactions; prevent a fall after a slip, maintain balance, lifting and carrying heavy loads.

Learning how to improve mind-to-muscle communication requires starting with the basics. A trained fitness or health professional can evaluate muscle strengths and weaknesses and provide moves which will develop weaker muscles by integration of all parts of the body leading to well synchronized movements. Over time, the neurological impulses between the mind and the muscle, improve and will react quicker improving strength, agility and balance.

The development of mind to muscle communication, healthy eating and regular physical activity will not only serve well in the present to maintain a healthy weight, but more importantly, preserve brain function and improve cognitive functions later in life.