There is no doubt that being home bound poses many challenges to our health. Reduction in physical activity, social interaction and mental stimulation coupled with comfort foods creeping into our diet and staying up late to watch one more episode can all begin to shift our health. These simple lifestyle variations can have an impact not only on our physical health, but also on our mental acuity and memory as well.
Forgetting why you walked into a room, failing to recall what you wanted to get at a store, or not being able to quite place a name with a face are often affectionately referred to as senior moments. But let’s face it, these maddening lapses in memory or concentration start way before we are seniors…how about in our 40’s and 50’s! Yes, we actually start to see changes in our brains as early as 40 years old.
For a long time it was believed that neurons, or brain cells, did not regenerate. Unlike other cells in the body, it was thought that your brain cells died off as you aged and were lost forever. However, we now know that it is actually possible to grow a modest amount of new brain cells. This process is called neurogenesis and there are many lifestyle dynamics that can affect regeneration and healthy brain connections.
Unfortunately, the circumstances that many of us are experiencing right now like stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, restricted social interactions, insufficient exercise and a lack of stimulating activity all negatively impact neurogenesis. As you can imagine, more positive health behaviors encourage brain regeneration that supports mental acuity and memory. Many of these positive lifestyle actions enhance brain health through their ability to stimulate a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is viewed as “Miracle-Gro” for your brain because it stimulates the growth of new cells as well as strengthens existing cells. Higher levels of this protein are correlated with improved cognitive function and memory, whereas low levels of BDNF have been associated with depression, poor memory and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
One of the best ways to increase BDNF is through exercise…yes, another plug for making sure you are getting your daily exercise! Moderate aerobic exercise seems to be most beneficial for stimulating the production of BDNF, but functional exercises that incorporate balance and coordination are excellent for encouraging BDNF as well. Want a real boost to your cognitive function? Schedule a time to learn something new right after you exercise. With increased blood flow to the brain and heightened levels of BDNF, post exercise is the perfect time to acquire new information. This illustrates yet one more reason why exercise is truly a preventative strategy against many age-related conditions, including memory loss and neurodegeneration.
Now is the time to ensure your exercise routine is effective not only for you physically, but mentally!
A 30 minute exercise review will go through your current exercise routine and provide suggestions for making sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. If you don’t have a routine? No worries! You will leave the call with a simple yet effective routine to promote optimal physical and mental health.
For a limited time, when you sign up for an exercise review, I will include as a FREE BONUS my new eBook “It Slipped My Mind: How to keep your brain young and your memory sharp.” In this ebook you will learn the fascinating facts about how the brain changes with age, proven steps to avoid cognitive decline and some great tricks to bolster your mind and memory.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to fortify both your body and your mind!
is a Physical Therapist,
Nutrition Consultant and
Doctor of Integrative Medicine.
She has been treating women with osteoporosis for over 30 years and is dedicated to helping people achieve lasting good health and vitality.
Want to learn more about how you can improve your bone health? Contact me for a free 15 minute phone consult to learn more about the BONES Method™ and how it can help you achieve strong, healthy bones for life!