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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Using Your Entire Brain

The great tragedy of science: the slaying of a beautiful theory by an ugly fact.” Thomas Huxley (1870)
Monday’s post had to do with utilizing your brain. In that post, I pointed out just a few ideas related to utilizing your brain as well as commenting on the 10% myth of brain utilization. Another myth to consider is the notion that we are either right brained or left brained as far as being the dominant manner of mental functioning when both hemispheres are intact. Some of you might remember a man by the name of Ned Herrmann and his “four styles of thinking.” He believed and classified the brain into four quadrants. In quadrant A-the left cerebral hemisphere was referred to as analytical thinking. In quadrant B the left limbic system was called sequential thinking. Quadrant C. was called the right limbic system and that was classified as interpersonal thinking. Quadrant D.  –the right cerebral hemisphere was classified as imaginative thinking. Current PET and MRI studies show that most activities are done using all styles and both hemispheres are in concert. That is good news as I’m now relieved to know that while running my brain is in balance and I’m using both right and left  hemispheres within my  prefrontal cortex. No wonder my running goes well.
 The bottom line is to make sure that you are utilizing your brain. And of course one way to do that is by employing exercise in your life space.  Are you happy with the amount of exercise in your life? If not, then only you can to do something about it. Remember, the brain begins to atrophy or loose tissue beginning in the third decade of life. The loss of brain tissue leads to a decline in cognitive function. Since life expectancy is increasing as a result of better health care and eradication of certain life-threatening diseases, just think of the mounting social and financial problem you can be if you do not take care of your brain (Institute for Natural Resources).
 Yesterday, Madhu, Farah, Secretariat, Chris and I did a trail run. I wanted to get more mileage in so I ran another loop totaling about 13 miles give or take.  My Achilles felt good and the hemispheres of my brain were in balance. What more can I ask for?
In addition to exercise, another way to feed your brain is related to food. Example, are you eating antioxidant rich foods-broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, tomatoes, melons, potatoes, oranges, blue or red fruits, strawberries, and red grapes?
Are you getting enough omega-3 fatty acids-found in such fish as tuna, salmon and sardines?
Are you getting enough B. vitamins found in beans, peas, enriched breads, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, and fruits such as bananas and melons?  Let’s not underestimate the importance of food in your diet. Once again, if you do need to make changes do it.
More to follow regarding the brain. In the meantime, keep moving.


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