Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Brain Rule #1 -- Exercise boosts brain power.

At his presentation a couple of nights ago, John Medina, author of Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Home, Work and School, told of a study of Japanese kids who would rather play video games than exercise. In fact, they were "exercise resistant." These kids were tested in math and showed poor scores. After a three-month exercise regime they were tested again. Their math scores were remarkably higher. Next the researchers took away the exercise program and after a few weeks retested the kids. Their math scores had dropped back down.

This is just one study out of an enormous body of research that indicates the brain boost that comes from exercise. No wonder he made it his number one rule!

Just a half hour of aerobic exercise twice a week is enough to provide tremendous benefits. So whether you walk, swim, use a treadmill or jump around to a video in your own living room (he even says fidgeting counts!) you can expect to see marked improvements. Exercise:
- strengthens muscles and bones
- reduces Alzheimer's risk 50%
- helps you solve problems
- decreases risk for diabetes
- improves fluid intelligence
- changes your blood lipid profile
- treats depression
- reduces risk for cancer
- treats dementia
- cuts risk of stroke in half
- decreases risks for heart disease

So, if reading this list didn't tire you out completely, get out there and exercise!

(Dr Medina says to make sure you check with your doctor before you start an exercise program.)

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