Check this one out for a little inspiration! 10 New Reasons to Exercise (That Aren’t About Weight Loss)
“It does a lot more than make you a stronger, sleeker, better sleeper.”
By Jena Pincott
As if we needed more reasons to get moving…but just in case I’ve included this new article which cites some very interesting studies. My favorite is pasted below, which continues to inspire me to exercise with my students throughout the day. They love it!
It’ll Be Your Secret to Self-Control
Make better decisions by exercising for 10-40 minutes first—that’s the upshot of an overview of studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Kids and young adults who worked out right before test-taking showed better concentration and self-control than non-exercisers. During exercise, more oxygen-rich blood flows to the frontal lobes, the area responsible for “executive function”—thinking ahead, reasoning and keeping yourself in check.
Read the entire article here.
“Doing aerobic exercise twice a week for 26 weeks significantly increased the volume of older women’s hippocampi – the region of the brain associated with memory.”
This article in based on a study titled, “Aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume in older women with probable mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial,” which appears in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
One of the most significant results from the study was this:
“The group that did aerobic exercise significantly increased hippocampal volume at the end of the 26 weeks, compared with the control group. The resistance training group did not see this effect.”
The results from the study have huge implications for both older adults trying to maintain their optimal brain function and young adults who are trying to reach it!
Here is an older article by the late David Servan-Schreiber, MD about all of the amazing benefits of physical activity. Although it’s from a while ago, I think the stories in it are so inspiring that I wanted to include it. From Oprah.com.
“What lifts depression, jump-starts creativity, soothes jitters, muscles up immune systems, reignites sex lives, and zings your body with tiny arrows of pleasure? Would you believe: small—really small—amounts of regular exercise. Honestly, it’s a miracle.”
This is my favorite part of the article:
How can exercise change the way we feel? Deep inside our skull, we have a “brain within the brain” that is responsible for emotions. This so-called limbic region also balances heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and all the hormones of the body. Because of such neural multitasking, when our body changes, our emotions change, too. During exercise, for example, our body releases endorphins—tiny molecules that resemble opium and its derivatives (like morphine and heroin). The emotional brain contains many receptors for endorphins, and that’s why it is so sensitive to opiates. (The drugs hijack the pleasure-registering receptors, immediately radiating a sensation of well-being and satisfaction.) When opiates are used often, however, they can become habit forming. The flooded brain reacts by reducing the number of receptors in order to avoid overstimulation. So the dose must be systematically increased in order to produce the same response. Moreover, because the receptors become less and less sensitive, regular pleasures lose their potency—including sex, which for drug addicts often offers little or no enjoyment.
The secretion of endorphins brought on by physical exercise does exactly the opposite. The more the natural mechanism of pleasure is gently stimulated by exercise, the more sensitive it becomes. In addition to relishing sex and life’s other big rewards, people who exercise regularly actually get more pleasure out of the little things: their friendships, cats, meals, hobbies, even the smiles of passersby in the street. Essentially, it becomes easier for them to be satisfied. Such heightened enjoyment is the antithesis of depression.
Isn’t that amazing? People who exercise regularly, which could be as little as 20 minutes three times a week, get more pleasure out of life! I think that may be one of the best reasons I’ve heard so far.