Movement has been a vital part of our evolution since the very beginning… Latest estimates put our ancestors as travelling an average of 6 - 12 miles each day, interspersed with sprinting, climbing, jumping, carrying, wrestling, and swimming in order to stay alive…
This is what we did for 2.5 million years, and our brains are now hardwired to expect that level of activity.
Our brains depend on movement for growth and maintenance - it is not just your muscles, joints, heart, lungs, appearance, mood and social life that benefit from regular exercise… Exercise stimulates the release of nerve growth factor [NGF] and brain derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF], both of which stimulate the growth of brain cells and more synapses [connections between brain cells]. *Carro E, Trejo JL, Busiguina S, Torres-Aleman I: Circulating insulin-like growth factor I mediates the protective effects of physical exercise against brain insults of different etiology and anatomy
Without exercise, you will not be on the receiving end of this vital brain bath of growth hormones and your body adapts by removing the unused neural connections and making fewer connections. Your body will also spend less time doing maintenance in those areas - so less reparations - and the result is atrophy [brain shrinkage] and increased likelihood of early memory loss, reduced mobility & coordination, declined social skills and mood issues.
The damage that results from a lack of exercise is cumulative… Over a lifetime, those who do less exercise are at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia, with the current theory being that the brain growth hormones that you don’t get when you don’t exercise may contribute to the progression of these diseases.
As for mood issues, exercise has been found to be as effective or more effective than the Prozac family of medications for treating mood disorders like depression. *de la Cerda P, Cervello E, Cocca A, Viciana J: Effect of an aerobic training program as complementary therapy in patients with moderate depression
As for your body as a whole, exercise lowers the excretion of cytokines that cause excessive inflammation, linked to asthma, TB, arthritis, colitis & Crohn’s disease, sinusitis, and many, many more… *White LJ, Castellano V: Exercise and brain health
Strength training generates the largest gains in nerve growth factors. *Rojas Vega S, Knicker A, Hollman W, Bloch W, Struder HK: Effect of resistance exercise on serum levels of growth factors in humans
In addition to ALL the other well known benefits of regular exercise...
Basically, not exercising is very, very bad for your well being. Exercise - strength training and complex movements in particular - will help protect your brain, improve your mood, and significantly lessen the risk of heart disease, obesity, dementia, Alzheimer’s and a whole host of other health problems… You’ll find a contact form below…
“Movement complexity is the reason we became human… The reason for our brain development and our departure and ascent to the top of the food chain is related to movement complexity…” ~ Ido Portal