The early Greeks were well aware of the mind-body connection. To them, fitness was almost as important as learning. Hippocrates said “every man has two doctors-his right leg and his left”, meaning activity can help with most diseases. More recently, for the first time, scientists have coaxed the human brain into growing new nerve cells, simply by putting subjects on a three-month aerobic workout regimen (Newsweek, 3/26/07).
Regular exercise builds up the body’s levels of BDNF, kind of a ‘Miracle-Gro’ for the brain that is vital for learning, memory, and many other processes of higher thought. People who work out develop Alzheimer’s later and less often than sedentary folks. Doesn’t it make you wonder why school districts are cutting PE classes and recess time? Teach your children well…………….
In addition to enhanced brain activity, regular exercisers have a 40% less likely chance of developing colon cancer, a 45% less chance of developing coronary artery disease, and a 60% less risk of developing osteoporosis than sedentary folks. In spite of all this, only ~30% of people over 18 engage in regular leisure-time activity! Remember back when I wrote that if you have a goal, break all of your decisions into two choices-does my choice get me closer to my goal or not? If your goal is health, then exercise is clearly a no-brain-er.
For many of my clientele, exercise can decrease falls by 30%, and can reduce the risk of hip fracture, even if they do fall, by 20-40%. I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the message.
Yours in health, John R. Blilie, M.S.