A lot of people think of the summer as a great time to exercise their bodies and to get fit, but it is also a great time to exercise your brain. Your brain is your most important organ and, just like any other part of the body, you should strive to keep it healthy and active. Here are some tips from William Smith M.S., author of Exercises for Brain Health on how to best implement work outs for your brain.
Multistage your Exercises. Neurodegenerative diseases affect cognition and physical capabilities. Challenging your body via multi-tasking exercises, such as a lunge with biceps curl, utilizes all your senses to accomplish the movement. Start with body weight and add resistance, never compromising form.
Stress Response and Inflammation. Stress, good or bad, for extended periods of time creates an inflammatory response in the body. Eating colorful fruits and vegetables, particularly dark colors, and drinking plenty of water may mitigate the impact of stress. Ask your medical provider about UV light therapy as well, this may alter your pH Spectrum.
Exercise and Physical Independence. Decides the obvious benefits of cardiovascular and strength improvements have been thoroughly documented. In respect to conditions such as Parkinsons’, good posture, confidence in walking gait, and responsive reflexes, can be the difference in preventing falls or related debilitating events. All these attributes can be enhanced through focused exercise.
Motor Learning: Build a Buff Brain. Building a Buff Brain is not as difficult as it sounds. With your muscular system its called Hypertrophy, in respect to your brain a term called neuroplasticity can be used. Basically a fancy term meaning you enhance motor neuron function and conductivity speed through exercise. This means a better ‘mind-body’ connection.
Stay Flexible. Better movement is not only about stretching and improving flexibility. Consider foam rolling, drinking more water, and strengthening the ‘extensor-chain’. Foam rolling has many benefits for your body’s connective tissue as does drinking water. The extensor-chain includes the back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, essentially all the muscles on the backside. Common exercises to work these areas are Glute-Ham extensions, deadlifts, and supermans.
For Caregivers: This tip is for those of you that take care of an elderly parent or loved one. Attempt to schedule in daily movement therapy for your loved one. Make it a daily occurrence. Even 5 minutes or stretching the upper body, deep breathing exercises, or supervised balance movements, can create a positive mental outlook for caregiver and patient.
William Smith’s Exercises for Brain Health features physical and mental exercises that are specially designed to strengthen both mind and body. Featuring progressively challenging programs and assessments, this book will keep you motivated along the path to a healthy and active brain.
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EXERCISES FOR BRAIN HEALTH
Written by William Smith M.S.
978-1-57826-316-5, $15.00 paperback
From Hatherleigh Press. Distributed through Random House.
Available wherever books are sold.