It’s the new year and not the first few days of it either. We’re already well into the 4th week. Did you make resolutions? Are you keeping them? There were news reports today that Canadians are getting even less exercise a week than previously thought. Most adults do not get the recommended 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise per week. Teenagers are supposed to get 60 minutes of physical activity every day and according to Stats Canada only 15% of adults and 7% of kids get enough physical activity regularly to realize the health benefits. Although this may not be completely representative of Squamish it’s worth bearing in mind.
Now to add to this, the New York Times today published a story based on studies from Australia, Japan and Brazil that found that aerobic and strength training exercise improve cognition and neural plasticity. The studies speculate that changes in cerebral blood flow and neuronal growth factors improve the brains ability to adapt, remember, learn, and problem solve. Aerobic exercise also seems to help regulate blood glucose in the hippocampus, an area related to memory. It is here that the first changes occur in Alzheimer’s disease. Aerobic exercise and strength training seem to offer a level of protection against the negative effects of aging on the brain.
All of us want to stay healthy and ensure that we have strong healthy brains into old age. Aerobic exercise and strength training appear to be a great way to achieve both of these aims. So what are you doing to achieve those goals?
Now back to my original question: did you make any new year’s resolutions? How are they going? Perhaps you would like to get some more regular exercise and meet some new people. Come and be a part of our running clinic. We are offering a 18 week program. Each week will consist of two guided runs by knowledgeable health care professionals. Besides the running, you will learn about stretching, rolling your fascia and maintaining a healthy, injury free body. The clinic starts on January 30th, 2011 and culminates in an opportunity to run the inaugural half marathon in Whistler on June 4th, 2011. To find out more details and/or to sign up, use this link.
So why not come and join us and improve your health? You will get the added benefit of potential age proofing your brain. Now what can be better than that?
If you are interested in reading more research on some of these benefits, you can go to frontiers.org and search aging and neuroscience to access some very interesting studies. Happy reading.
This post brought to you by Donna McMurtry, registered massage therapist. To find out more about Donna, visit this link.