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Exercise Benefits Your Brain

Cerebral Cardio: Aerobic exercise is associated with increased gray matter volume in the brain’s cortex, where memory networks are housed, says J. Carson Smith, PhD, Associate Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Physical activity can also help protect the hippocampus, another part of the brain essential to memory, from disease-related shrinkage. It stimulates the birth and growth of nerve cells in the area, increases vessel formation so blood can nourish these cells, and boosts levels of brain growth factors.

Mental Toning: High-intensity strength training two or three days per week for six months improved brain function in people with mild cognitive impairment, according to 2016 Australian research, and the results likely apply to healthy younger adults, too, say study authors. One theory is that the same hormonal responses that help you build muscle may also help your brain grow new cells.

Mind-expanding Yoga: An effective stress buster, yoga may help your brain in several ways, explains Helen Lavretsky, MD, Professor in Residence in the psychiatry department at UCLA. Stress hormones are associated with increased inflammation, which is linked to neuronal damage. In a pilot study by Lavretsky, people older than 55 who participated in a weekly hour-long yoga session for 12 weeks reduced their stress levels and saw an improvement in verbal memory comparable to those who did only memory training. ~ adapted from Oprah Magazine, June 2017

Regular bodywork at Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto will further reduce your stress hormones and inflammation! And as you add more movement to your routine, our practitioners will help you to decrease muscle stiffness and fatigue, reduce swelling, increase range of motion, improve exercise performance, and help prevent injuries in general.