Movement, Posture, Ergonomics, Mindset, Nutrition




We all know that exercise is good for us, and when we stick to it, we begin to feel the magic happening.  Here’s a short list of the first things many people notice:

  • Increased energy
  • Elevated mood
  • Better sleep
  • Improved concentration
  • Comprehension improves
  • We drop extra weight
  • We get stronger
  • Helps with eliminating wastes from the body through sweat and improved bowel elimination
  • We FEEL better!


When we think of exercise, we usually think about building muscles, cardiovascular health, and maybe flexibility. But what if I told you that if we focus on the brain during exercise training, it can help with disease prevention?   Exercise alone has so many benefits to our health and prevention of disease.  Deepak Chopra describes the brain as a ‘human pharmacy’ because of its ability to create a multitude of hormones and chemicals which help our immune system to stay heathy, help our muscles, tissues and joints stay strong and keep us moving well. This all happens through the complicated interconnection of the various body systems (nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, lymphatic, muscular, and more).  

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to develop new neural firing pathways via electrical synapses between neurons.  When we move more, in different patterns, challenging different parts of the body in different ways, the nervous system must fire different pathways, which triggers different areas in the brain.  The brain is a complex network and firing up the neurons lights up other areas of the brain that stimulate new growth, affecting more than just the connection to those particular muscles.  When we do cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes (a brisk walk or any movement to get your heart rate elevated!), the brain easily produces BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor), dopamine and many other neurotransmitter.  Elevating the heart rate also keeps the heart and blood vessels fit. 

While a brutal workout is not necessary for production of BDNF (Norman Doidge, 2007), higher exercise intensity and longer duration will cause increased production of BDNF.

So, why is BDNF so special? Thousands of research papers and books have been published about benefits of BDNF and it is often referred to as Miracle Grow for the Brain. Here are many reasons:

  • BDNF promotes neuronal protection, neurogenesis, cell survival, cell remodeling, axonal and dendritic growth, and synaptogenesis (the formation of synapses between neurons in the nervous system). (da Silva Germanos S., 2019)
  • For those who require medication, BDNF also helps promote the uptake of medication, and keeps them in the system for longer.
  • Regular aerobic activity helps increase the window of time when dopamine replacement medications is ‘on’ or the benefits are noticed by patients.
  • improved ability to focus attention (an immediate benefit of aerobic exercise)
  • improved memory (a benefit resulting from long term aerobic exercising)
  • slowing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases and dying brain cells
  • birth of new brain cells may occur in the hippocampus (a key structure that allows for formation of new long-term memories) and the olfactory bulb (a structure critical for the ability to smell and discriminate between smells)

While aerobic exercise is the most effective way to produce BDNF, there are other ways, such as doing activities you like to do:

  • enriching your environment
  • visiting with family
  • visiting with friends
  • attending social functions
  • social interaction
  • drinking a cup of coffee or tea
  • playing games
  • attending a concert
  • attending a game (Sakata, 2014)

 To learn more about exercises that stimulate the brain through challenging your balance, and focused mind-body movements, and breathing, join the STRONG BODY BALANCE community!  





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