I’ve just started reading up my first chapter readings for the week for my Psychology class. The next class is all about the brain, its cells, its functions, and the magical mysteries of the mind. But we’ll get into that next week, I guess.
Yesterday, I posted about the increased size of your hippocampus and an improved overall health and well-being. I edited it quite a bit earlier, so that you can understand better about building an aerobic base on a consistent basis and what it can do to your brain.
I’m fascinated about the way we can learn to control our minds for positive changes to our internal and external environments.
Okay, just call me a geek.
I read magazines for breakfast, read novels for lunch, and textbooks for dinner. In-between meals, I surf the net reading articles from my iPad. I know. It’s crazy, but you can’t help imagining the things you read all day long. Indeed, it sparks my imaginations. That’s what I love about digesting the written word one letter at a time.
You see, since regular aerobic activity has been repeatedly proven to increase the size of your hippocampus, I’ve found even more findings about it.
If you’re old, between ages 55 and 80, and your memory is deteriorating, you cannot blame your nonexercise habits during your middle age, because those times are gone, and time is the only thing you cannot reverse. You can only change your biological clock through aging.
This research shows that any type of exercise, and I mean any, not just aerobic or just anaerobic, shows an increase in the size of hippocampus over time. In this case, it’s about a year. So if you think about it, if you start building your aerobic base as early as in your 20s, you’ll delay memory loss even longer.
In theory, you can slow down the inevitable cost of aging: Hippocampal volume loss, which translates to loss of short and long-term memory functions – which is why it’s never too late to start exercising.
If you’re reading this, you can start moving right at this very second, no matter how old you are. “Starting an exercise regimen later in life is not futile for either enhancing cognition or augmenting brain volume,” wrote the researchers of the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Illinois, Rice University, and the Ohio State University on the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Since my last post wasn’t as clear as it should be, let’s go into further detail, with reference to HealthGuidance for the obvious benefits of regular exercise.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, as soon as you move, your glands immediately releases a number of hormones that control your physiological needs and functions.
Now I finally learned that whenever I’m having my ‘high’, like as if I’m having my state of trance, a euphoric mind and reaching my runner;s high, or thinking that I’m having orgasm on the spot – it’s the endorphins that are responsible for how I felt. It’s amazing how I can go in to such a manic state without any dose of drugs, such as marijuana and ecstasy.
I guess higher BPM, melodic and vocal dance music, plus unlimited liters of water, are my drugs.
Other than feeling super good, you can alsoincrease your ‘fluid intelligence’, and, with regularity, exercise can increase your IQ. HealthGuidance defined ‘fluid intelligence’ as intelligence that doesn’t require previous knowledge. So it’s basically your short-term memory, like whenever you’re trying to remember the name of the girl you saw across the bar or calculating your bills in your head. This not only saves time, but also helps you little boys in skirt-chasing.
And all the hype about bulking up your hippocampal volume, it all deals with exercising control of the brain, just like controlling the movements of your muscles. They say that if you don’t lose it, you lose it. This principle also applies for training your brain. With regular exercise, you are not only inducing cell growth in your body, but also new neurons in your brain. “By repeatedly training a movement you increase the neuronal networks involved and so grow that area of the brain,” explains HealthGuidance.
This new phenomenon in neuroscience, of the ways you can literally change your brain psychologically and physiologically, is called brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity.
We’ll get more into that once my Psychology class explores the topic more in-depth.
But until then, I learned that you can literally brainwash yourself the natural way through exercise, which is, of course, the positive kind.
I’m doing an experiment focusing on consistency – 20 x 7 = 180-minute a week of exercise. Meaning distributing those minutes in smaller, manageable, bite-sized 20-minute pieces throughout the week.
He told me that the simple act of doing aerobic exercise, which is all about repeated movements of both the small and big muscles, is a major antidepressant, a natural way to cure anxiety and stress. Other than that, it can also create new neural pathways in your brain if you do it so regularly, letting your brain cells go between the process of positive stress (exercise) and intervals of resting in-between the rest of the each day after you exercise. With consistent stress and rest intervals, you may permanently change the structures of your brain.
Rather than a massive amount of time spent on long exercise and going a longer time-interval until the next time you exercise, this regularity supports the growth of more blood capillaries to help let your improved blood circulation (through regular exercise) flow throughout your body properly.
When your blood circulation improves, so does your body’s immune system. Your mitochondria, the superhuman minute organelle inside each and every one of your little, innumerable cells, starts to enlarge and protect your body once you’ve got your aerobic exercise. This protects your body from being invaded by external viruses, therefore preventing you to diseases and all that bad stuff.
If you didn’t pay attention during your biology class back in high school, here‘s a good read about how aerobic exercise, literally meaning the type of exercise that uses oxygen for your body to convert energy (as opposed to anaerobic exercise), can help increase the number and size of mitochondria in your body. If you, say, run long distances every week for a year, by next year, you’re this sexy fat-burning machine who never gets sick.
Not only are you going to avoid getting problems if you do exercise during your academic semester, you also get to, literally, bulk up your brain, just by having regular cardio.
There’s been a research about this.
Turning up my stock of Women’s Health magazine last night, I found the cutting-edge science behind cardiovascular exercise and the brain from the article,Gain The Cardio Edge on the March 2010 issue. You can take your time and read through the five benefits cardio can do for you.
The article focuses on the BDNF, or the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which plays an essential role in brain cell growth, mood regulation, and cognition (thinking, therefore learning).
“BDNF is like fertiziler for the brain. Without it, our brains can’t take in new information or make bew cells,” says Harvard Medical School associate professor John J. Ratey, Ph.D. Studies show regular cardio boosts BDNF in the brain more rapidly when participants workout everyday than every other day.
Here’s more: Cardio is the single thing you can do to elevate the neurotransmitters in the brain, which improves communication between the cells, not just in the brain, in your body (Because all that involves better communication throughout your body’s endocrine system. Read my page:Water Cycle 101). “Cardiovascular health is more important than any other single factor in preserving and improving learning and memory,” says clinical psychologist memory research Thomas Crook, Ph.D. Here’s why: Your glands pump out these major hormones responsible for maintaining homeostasis:
When these hormones interplay, in general, all of your basic physiological needs are met.
You won’t get depressed, your mood will elevate, your brain will always be alert, and the most important finding is …. Your hippocampus, which is the part of your brain that controls memory and learning, will literally increase in size. Isn’t that cool?
You get a huge brain, and you have a little body.
That’s what I call economy.
The good kind.