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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.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Using Your Brain

"None will improve your lot if you yourself do not."– Bertolt Brecht
It seems clear that exercise affects both the structure and function of the brain per research studies. In fact, studies (animal and human) have shown that a few months of moderate exercise can create new neurons, lift mood and affect memory and thinking.
What do you think would happen to your brain if you stopped exercising? Do you think that this stoppage would affect your brain? Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario asked this very question.
The Brazilian researchers placed rats in separate groups. One group of healthy adult rats was allowed to run on running wheels for a week. These rats and a control group were injected with the substance that marks newborn neurons in the hippo campus-the memory center of the brain. The scientists were then able to track how many new cells were created compared to the control group (without a running wheel).
After a week, both groups of rats completed a memory test. Then again another group of animals completed the same memory test either three or six weeks later. The findings were as follows: 1. After week of inactivity, the running rats have better memory scores and at least twice as many newborn neurons in the hippo campus. 2. After three or six weeks of not running there were insignificant changes as far as newborn neurons and memory scores conclusion, exercise induced benefits were transient / they didn’t last.
In the McMaster University study, rats were placed in either an enriched environment (running wheel, toys) compared to a control group. in this experiment, serotonin which is a neuro transmitter involved in anxiety were measured. After several months of exercise, these animals became noticeably less anxious and more resilient to stress during the testing. However, these benefits dissipated rapidly when these rats were removed from the running wheel and toy environment.
In another experiment, researchers compared one group (exposed to 10 weeks of running) followed by three weeks of inactivity versus a non- running group. Once again, brain – exercise benefits seem to evaporate with non- use which is very similar to what happens to muscle or heart rate.
In other words, if you’re a rat you better keep moving since it’s good for you and your brain. This article was sent to me by Dr. Wayne Fisk and is found in the January 9, 2013 New York Times.  Wayne and I attended Denby High School and graduate school at Wayne State University together. Thanks’ Wayne for sending me this timely article.
Girls putting up with football playoffs
Last week, we had a NFL football playoff potluck and will do the same this Saturday at Lon and Cheryl’s. However, the plan for that morning is to do a trail run.
My advice to you is to” keep “moving or running as it’s good for you.


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