The Secret Value of Exercise
Added: Mon. Dec 24, 2012 6:44am
Posted in: Fitness
Everyone knows the cliches about exercise, use it or lose it, no pain, no gain, etc. Maybe that's why so many folks find themselves put off by the prospect of working out. Sadly, they are doing themselves a double disservice. Not only are they neglecting the physical vehicle of their body, they are also falling short on their mental needs.
For my money the real value of exercise is how it benefits my brain. That's right, the brain.
Funny how everybody thinks with it, but nobody thinks about it.
That little two pound mass inside your head is working every second of every day. Yes, even while you are sleeping. It only weighs a couple of pounds, less than 2 percent of your body weight. Yet it burns up as much as 25 percent of the calories you consume every day. That's more than any single muscle, or any group of them. We're talking about one high-powered engine here.
Few people realize that the brain works just as muscles work, it flourishes with use and withers with inactivity. Getting our heart and lungs pumping can mean the difference between calm focussed mind and a harried, inattentive one.
Just a year of aerobic exercise reversed normal brain shrinkage by one to two years in older adults and improved their memory function, the Wall Street Journal reported. You can read full details in Exercise, Aging and the Brain.
Maybe you will rethink your ideas on exercise. A shriveled body is unsightly, but a shriveled brain is just no fun at all.
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