|Pharma spends billions of dollars developing chemicals. Psychiatrists and psychologists rake in millions in evaluating and offering nothing to treat the problem. Yet the march toward brain shrinkage and dementia could be slowed, or perhaps even stopped, without costing a penny. Unfortunately, it's something too many people don't want to do. But if you'll stick with me, you'll see how easy this is.
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New research confirms that, even into your 70s, exercise preserves brain size, especially the grey matter where your thoughts arise. Interestingly, the study found no brain size-preservation effects from pastimes such as socializing, playing chess, etc. The researchers said that it wasn't clear the cause and effect. In other words, it's possible that as people lose brain matter (and cognitive decline), they are inclined to exercise less.
This is a no brainer (pardon the pun) for me. Exercise stimulates your heart to deliver more oxygen to every gland and organ in your body. It stimulates your central nervous system by firing neurons required for coordination, movement, balance, posture, and more. All these are integrated with cognition. I assure you that natural stimulation of any part of your brain will have beneficial effects on all of your brain.
Exercise also improves insulin function. I've reported here how dementia might be a "type 3" diabetes. And exercise can help prevent dementia and diabetes.
The weather outside is starting to warm up. So please use the cheapest therapy in the world to keep yourself young. Get outside and exercise! If you can't get outside, or prefer to stay inside, there's a very simple way to get the most effect with the least amount of work. Simply ride a stationary bike. But don't do it for a long time. Ride it in short 15-90 second bursts.
A Canadian group studied the difference between 45 minutes of cycling without interruption and short burst cycling — 15-90 seconds while resting in between. The long duration group burned twice as many calories, so the logical assumption is that they would burn more fat. But that's not what happened.
The participants in the interval-burst group lost the most fat. In fact, they lost nine times more fat than the endurance group for every calorie burned. You might think that this violates the laws of physics, but it doesn't. It shows that exercise continues to affect your metabolism after you stop. You get a greater fat burn with short bursts of exercise. That also means it helps your brain more as well. So exercise – but exercise smarter, not harder.
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