Exercise Improves your Body and your Brain

Dr. Phyllis Books

Exercise Improves your Body and your Brain

Exercise actually makes you smarter. A study done in a Chicago high school surprised everyone with the clear cut results. The school counselors, after watching the dramatic improvements in scholastics, advised kids to sign up for their hardest class right after physical exercise. Read more about this in John Ratey’s book, Spark. You’ll want to put on your gym shorts before you finish the first chapter.

Movement is part of life. Living people breathe and dead people don’t. Living people move their minds, their bodies, etc..and dead people don’t. It’s as simple as that.

The exercise doesn’t have to be fancy or in expensive places wearing designer clothes. You simply move every joint in your body everyday.. That’s it.

But how many of you procrastinate? You mean to do it, (like you mean to add a green salad to your diet on a regular basis), but just for today, you don’t get around to it. Tomorrow, you will, of course. (Remember Wimpy from Popeye cartoons…May I pay you tomorrow for a hamburger for today?)

The key to reaping the benefits of exercise is to find a program and stick with it. Regularity is the key. Your body loves to expect the routine of exercise…just like it appreciates the intake of food on a regular basis. And exercise is considered by many health experts as right up there with sleep for being really healthy.

So, let’s get practical. How can you get started with a plan you’ll actually do?

l) Start with walking if you are overweight. Most heavy people start with walking and this is an excellent choice, as it is low risk and inexpensive. Many people can become fit relatively rapidly with this exercise. Then it becomes important to increase the intensity or the duration of the workout.

2) Increase your intensity regularly. Ideally you should exercise at a rate that makes it somewhat difficult to talk to the person next to you. Personally, I find it useful to take turns talking. Exercising with someone is a great way to make sure you stick to a plan.
Taking turns talking insures you keep your pace brisk but allows you to enjoy yourself and your companionship at the same time.

3) Be cautious. Walking and swimming both use the long muscles of the body in a correct and bilateral fashion. If you are going to use exercise equipment, you often need more supervision as you may be isolating certain muscles. Non-weight bearing exercise like swimming and bicycling may not be as efficient for weight loss. Typically you will need to exercise four times as long in these activities as the weight bearing ones.

Feeling fit is not just good for your body. It’s great for your mind. Your mind needs exercise too. Crossword puzzles and learning new languages are great exercise for the mind. Oxygen from physical exercise keeps the brain fueled.

Exercise should be fun and engaging. When you’re bored or you’ve been working on a project and just need a break, take a quick walk around the block or down the road.

Fresh air, a fresh look at the world are great natural ”pick me up”. Nature is all around us, just sitting there for us to enjoy.

Dr. Phyllis Books, DC, is a teacher, doctor, grandmother and developer of Books Neural Therapy™, a natural, non-drug intervention for children with dyslexia and other learning and behavior issues. Her clients call her a combination of: a neurosurgeon, a psychiatrist and Mother Teresa.  Mostly, she loves sharing what she learned about kids, how they learn and how they can feel good about themselves and be successful.

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