Is it true that exercise is good for you? Well, most people would definitely say “yes”, as the amount of evidence to the fact is enumerable and to deduce this truth is insurmountable. Now, there are also those who say exercise leads to cancer, but let's not add them to this mix.
It is true that exercise produces oxidative stress in our bodies, resulting in free radicals, but most of those free radicals can be combated by the antioxidants in our foods (eat those raw vegetables and fruits!).
Now, back to the question at hand. Exercise IS very good for you, but the main point of this post is to educate others about the importance of exercise benefits on the brain. After all, this blog is about hypnosis and how the brain works, so why not include this very useful and exciting information?
Did you know that your brain actually grows when you exercise? Yep, that's right. Just like when you use hypnosis to accomplish a specific goal or to perform better at a specific task, exercise has been shown to actually grow physical parts of your brain.
How does it do this? How can hypnosis, a form of thought therapy, and exercise, a form of body movement (the best I could come up with), actually contribute to the growth of gray matter, dendrites, and cells in the brain?
Well, we're not sure. Science has come a long way in studying and reporting these findings, but the cause and the how remain unclear. Yet, theories do exists, however, most of them lack any substantial evidence or scientific backing.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that exercise helped grow new neurons in rats when exerting them on a spinning wheel. Recent studies have also shown that exercise can help protect against the damaging effects of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.*
More research from independent sources have also shown that humans who exercised regularly had more gray matter in the areas associated with memory, focus and concentration than those that did not. This also correlates with the research showing meditators and people who did self hypnosis had stronger cortexes in the brain, along with more neuronal growth.
Not only does exercise help grow new neurons, it also helps regrow and strengthen injured neurons, as would help in preventing further decay in numerous neurological diseases.
Also, exercise, as well as meditation and self hypnosis, have been shown to fight the signs of depression. Not only does it help combat past traumas by making you think and reason more clearly, but it also affects the neurotransmitters in the brain that are associated with low seratonin levels (hormone that regulates mood), according to the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. In fact, participants who were put on the exercise program fared the same as the one's taking a prescription medication.*
Just think how fast, how quick witted, and how imaginative your brain could be, how healthy it could be, if you combined both exercise and hypnosis. Putting together two tools of brain transformation, both mentally and physically, can help alter the brain's chemistry, making you happier, smarter, and full of amazing, wonderful ideas and thoughts. A healthier and better brain than you ever had.
Now for me that answers the question above. I think I'm going to go exercise now.
BTW, if you are wanting a good motivator for exercise, check out my CD "Hypnosis for a Healthy Lifestyle". I'm getting some really great feedback on the 'LOVE to Exercise' track as the holidays approach. Check it out here.