As I’ve mentioned before, I’m reading a great book called “SPARK” by Dr. John Ratey. As if I wasn’t pumped up enough about exercise to begin with, this book has given me even more ammunition. Please, pick up a copy…. What blows me away is this: I’ve always known that the best way to get stronger and healthier is that you have to break muscles cells down and let them rest in order to build them up stronger. Now, research is showing the same for nerve cells, including those in the brain-they have built-in recovery mechanisms activated by physical stress. According to Dr. Ratey, “the great thing about exercise is that it fires up the recovery process in our muscles and our neurons. It leaves our bodies and minds stronger and more resilient, better able to handle future challenges, to think on our feet and adapt more easily.” This is exactly how we, as a species, has gotten this far. I know that after I exercise, my body is calmer and I feel that I can handle anything-that way my serious stress response (fight-or-flight) is kept at bay and I keep a lid on my heart rate, blood pressure, andstress hormones like cortisol (whose job it is to store energy in the form of fat while breaking down protein/muscle).

Do you really need to know more? I don’t know about you but I’m going out to workout!

PS: I’ve put a couple of short videos of ab workouts on youtube-they should show up on the blog soon.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.