I’ve just returned from our cabin to 114 degree heat-how fun. Anyway, while I was up there I read some of the book “Spark” by Dr. John Ratey. He’s a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and is a specialist in looking at exercise and how it affects the brain. Everyone could benefit enormously from this book-it is written for the every person.

Within the past five years, an enormous amount of research has been done in both lab animals and humans regarding exercise and it’s beneficial influence on brain growth and health. It’s one of the few books on the subject that really got my heart pumping. I’m a big proponent of exercise but this book makes me even more rabid on the subject. As it turns out, intense exercise stimulates brain growth similar to muscles in that it fosters the release of hundreds of neurotransmitters, most notably a protein called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which acts like Miracle Gro for the brain. This protein is intimately involved in learning, memory, and a host of other motor and other functions. I’ll keep you tuned on all of it’s benefits the more I get into the book. BDNF is why you feel good after a workout. The key is intensity. As I’ve always said, I’m a big fan of short-burst, high-intensity exercise, and this latest research bears the evidence of that approach. I’m so excited!

I’ve put another video on youtube regarding strengthening your hips to guard aginst back pain. I hope to have it on my website in a day or two.

It’s good to be back.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.