Today’s first unfolded organically. While I was at the gym, I realized my routine was hitting a plateau and needed a little oomph. I decided to challenge my balance by performing 1 arm dumbbell shoulder presses while in
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose):
I was happy to be able complete the set without falling.. on both sides..but wow it sure did require a ton of connection to that core! It also seemed to enhance my present moment focus, which reminded me of jut how healthy movement is for our brains.
Exercise creates the optimal environment for neural plasticity, the ability of the brain to change. I would have to hypothesize that if we stick with the same old routine day in/day out without challenging ourselves, we may not be taking full advantage of this opportunity to affect our brain. Perhaps mixing it up isn’t a bad idea..
Exercise benefits the brain even before it benefits the body. The brain does not store its own fuel, nor does it produce its own fuel. The brain relies on the body to get its needed fuel—oxygen and glucose—to the brain. The healthier and more physically fit the body is, the more efficiently the brain functions. This is because exercise changes the brain at a molecular level by
growing new brain cells, a process called neurogenesis;
producing BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor), nicknamed the fertilizer for the brain;
strengthening secondary dendritic branching that increases memory retrieval; and
improving mood by balancing the neurotransmitters endorphins, dopamine, cortisol, and serotonin.
The brain is a complex structure. More parts of the brain “light up,” or are used, when a person is moving or physically active. Remember movement doesn’t have to be in a gym, there are plenty of ways to stay in motion. Be sure you are having fun 👣💃