Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Exercise Does A Brain "Good"

It’s widely accepted among scientists that regular exercise transforms the brain, improving the ability to remember and think. And a growing and very appealing body of science has established that exercise spurs the creation of new brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis. But just how jogging or other workouts affect the structure of the brain has remained enigmatic, with many steps in the process unexplained.

The BLUF of this study of exercise and the brain:  evidence suggests that even moderate aerobic exercise stimulates production of sex hormones which enable neurogenesis in the brain.  The mechanisms are not crystal clear, as I'm not sure how they differentiate between BDNF (brain derived neurotropic factor) and the sex hormones.  

Of note, most research is done with folks that are doing low intensity (aerobic) exercise, but when high intensity exercise is tested (with a caveat here that intensity for endurance activity is still low, even if termed "high".  By definition, endurance means aerobic which means a max of 40% of total output) results are better on virtually every measure of physiology.

In summary, the masses have been getting it wrong for years - exercise makes you smarter, stronger, and sustains mood, but does little to make you lean.  Leanness results when you eat the right food, primarily by restricting carb intake to levels that do not destroy glycemic control.

Eat meat, vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, little starch or fruit, no sugar/wheat.

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