Science shows more movement=better brain

By Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN, ACSM
Your Personal Trainer

If you’re lucky, it will happen to you too.  It happened to me last Tuesday.  I turned sixty.  That’s me on the right running in the Hagg Lake 10k run in May…and loving it!  On my way home from the library, I passed a woman who was walking more slowly than I was and appeared to be a few years older.  As I did so, she commented that she used to walk like that.  I stopped and walked back to her, put my arm around her shoulder, and told her that I was slowing down too.  I also told her that it was my sixtieth birthday.  She smiled at me and told me that she was ninety-one—a little more than thirty years my senior.

When I arrived home, there was a birthday present from my son.  He is a little more than thirty years my junior.  It was a book entitled Spark by John J. Ratey, MD.  “The latest research shows that for your brain to function at its peak, your body needs to move.”

In Spark, John J. Ratey, MD, demonstrates exactly how and why physical activity is crucial to the way you think and feel.”  Another quote on the back cover of his book caught my eye:

“If your goal is to live a long and healthy life, then Spark should be required reading.  As Dr. Ratey beautifully explains: ‘You have the power to change your brain.  All you have to do is lace up your running shoes.’”  Dr. Kenneth Cooper wrote that.  He should know.  He’s at least fifteen years my senior and he’s still running!  He got me started thirty-six years ago.

Whether you’re lacing up your running shoes, slipping on your walking shoes, riding with your bicycle shoes or walking barefoot in the summer sand, keep your spark going.  What comes first, movement or spark?  Or is movement started by the spark of thought, motivation?  It doesn’t matter which comes first.  Follow the spark whether you’re thirty, sixty, ninety-one or somewhere in between.  And while you’re out there enjoying your exercise this summer, take time out for a great summer read and treat yourself to Spark.

Yours in fitness,
Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN
Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, ACSM
Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM

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