Heart and brain that dance exercise brain spark

EXERCISE IS A BRAIN CHANGER

“In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these two means, man can attain perfection.” Plato

Burning calories to lose fat is just one reason to exercise. I am going to give you better reasons because if it’s your only reason to exercise, it won’t become a habit. I’ll give you reasons that go far beyond the fuzzy notion of runners high. I am going to share the science with you, in hopes that it makes exercise something you WANT to do. Not merely to lose a few pounds, but to be your absolute best. After you discover all the benefits of exercise, you will understand why I say choosing to NOT EXERCISE is like taking a depressant that erodes self-control and impairs cognitive function. A small dose of daily exercise is the absolute best way to improve your life. The brain runs the show, and as you’ll soon see, exercise promotes better brain function. Our brain loves physical activity. It increases blood flow to the brain, delivering nutrients and removing the waste products of normal neuronal activity. Vigorous movement keeps our neurotransmitters in balance, strengthens our synaptic connections, and even stimulates the production of new brain cells. Some of these neurotransmitters, like endorphins, provide a powerful incentive to exercise. They act on our opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects, making strenuous physical exercise pleasurable.

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Morning Exercise is a Keystone Habit

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“Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.”
― Charles DuhiggThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

The habit of getting up early each morning, exercising for at least 20-minutes and setting a positive tone for the rest of your day has numerous physical and psychological benefits.

Getting up is one of the hardest things we do each day. It gives you a mental edge over everyone else knowing you had the discipline to get up and get a workout in before you got to work or school. You’ll begin the day with a sense of accomplishment. It is like walking around with a secret. Continue reading “Morning Exercise is a Keystone Habit”

IS DEPRESSION A CHOICE?

Image by Shandi-lee Cox

In her book, Depression Is a Choice: Winning the Battle Without Drugs, A. B. Curtiss argues that most people can control the syndrome without the use of drugs and without the burden of endless therapy. In her book, she draws from her own experiences with depression, anecdotes from her practice, and a wealth of information about the history of the treatment of depression.[i] She acknowledges that depression in its most extreme forms is best treated through pharmaceutical and psychoanalytical intervention.

depression is a choice

Clinical depression is a disease. I don’t wish to add to the stigmatization of depression.The stigmatization of depression is why approximately 80% of the people with depression don’t seek treatment.[ii] Continue reading “IS DEPRESSION A CHOICE?”

Prime Yourself Each Morning with Exercise

Beginning each day with exercise is a fantastic way to begin our day. How we begin each day sets a tone for the rest of our day. When we begin each day with exercise, we are stimulating our mind and body for peak performance. Morning exercise stimulates the production of Brain-derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF). BDNF is often called “Miracle-Gro for the brain” because it stimulates the formation of new neurons.  How you begin each day determines how you will live each day.

Prime yourself with daily exercise. Start your day with the one activity that will improve your mood, focus, and vitality. Regardless of our fitness goals, beginning your day with exercise is a must, if we want to live a world-class life.  Daily exercise benefits the brain more than the body. The purpose of developing this habit is to:

  1. Prime your mind and body for a great day
  2. Stimulate the release of BDNF, “Miracle-Gro for the brain.”
  3. Improve your mood and focus
  4. Increase energy and vitality
  5. Improved impulse control and willpower
  6. Improved weight management and fitness
  7. Provide you with a sense of accomplishment before you start your workday

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A short 10 to 20-minute workout is sufficient. Do whatever activity you enjoy. Don’t let good be the enemy of great. Continue reading “Prime Yourself Each Morning with Exercise”

Make ONE REAL RESOLUTION this Year

This is the time of year where the word resolution is misused by millions of people. We will examine the formal definition. Next, we will look at how it is commonly applied to New Year’s Resolutions. Last, we will examine what it means to go after a goal with true resolve and how you can make this year different than any other year.

I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t think most people actually make resolutions. They make a list of things they would like to happen. They will usually attach a list of actions they should do to achieve it. Should is a word for the underachiever. It implies that your values aren’t in line with your actions. No one does what they should. They do what they must. They do what is in line with their true values.

That brings us to the formal definition of resolution; a firm decision to do or not to do something. The critical word in this definition is the word decision. Tony Robbins provides the best definition of the word decision.

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