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Exercise makes your brain grow
Physios are always telling you about the benefits of exercise! Did you know there are also mental benefits of exercise? So far there hasn’t really been any research into what kind of exercise is best for your brain though... Until now. A recent study has given us new insight into the brain's response to exercise, and those ultrarunners and endurance athletes out there will be thrilled with the results.
Your brain responds best to long aerobic sessions
Yep, long distance cardio seems to work the most magic on your brain. According to the study, sustained aerobic exercise has more benefits for your brain than anaerobic exercise, like HIIT, quick spurts of mountain climbers or burpees or a strength-training session. The study found that aerobic exercise had positive effects on brain structure and function, including on a process called adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN), which essentially means nerve growth in the hippocampus. The hippocampus plays a role in memory and spatial navigation, so you want to take care of it! The same study concluded that anaerobic exercise, like HIIT and weightlifting, didn't necessarily have the same AHN-boosting effects. Don’t worry though, it does have other benefits (we don’t give it to you for no reason!)
How reliable is this study?
As with most studies, we need to take the results and do more research and testing before taking it as gospel, since the initial study is done on rats not humans. For anyone who's ever experienced the legendary "runner's high," though, it makes sense that aerobic work would be good for the brain. After all, "The mammalian brain is the mammalian brain," Jordan Metzl (internationally acclaimed sports physician) says, which means you're more like the rats than you might think.
Does this mean you should only be running? What should you be doing if you want to ace your upcoming uni exams or win the next game show?? We still recommend combining aerobic and anaerobic training to reap the benefits of both methods. And whatever exercise you choose, we recommend doing it with intensity and purpose. "Sustained' means you have to do it for more than just a few minutes before your hippocampus becomes the envy of your coffee group.
September 10, 2017 0 Comments
SquareOne Physiotherapists are experts in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal problems.Read more
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Clinical Pilates involves the conscious recruitment and control of muscular movements in the body.Read more
- Runners Knee
- Menopause, Exercise and Physio
- Exercise during Pregnancy
- A Sports Physiotherapist turned full-time Mum
- Pilates with a Physio - Why is it better?
"Running will ruin your knees," a phrase I’m sure we have all heard. Despite what your well-meaning but potentially ill-informed neighbours, co-workers, and relatives may have told you, there's no evidence that regular running damages knees.
Whilst menopause comes with many (not so pleasant) symptoms, the great news is that you can help manage many of them with exercise.
Exercise has many benefits post menopause including maintaining and improving:
• Muscle strength
• Bone density
• Joint flexibility
• Mood and general wellbeing
There are many different types of exercise so you should choose something that you enjoy, fits in with your lifestyle and helps manage your individual symptoms.
Types of exercise:
Aerobic exercise: This type of exercise works your heart and lungs, and is also important to prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. This is any exercise that gets you huffing and puffing including activities such as cycling, swimming, tennis and gardening. It is important to avoid high impact activities such as running and jumping to protect your joints and pelvic floor as these are weaker post menopause.
Flexibility: Stretching and gentle respective movements increase the length of your muscles, resulting in improvement in your range of joint movement. Yoga is a great form of exercise to achieve this.
Resistance/Strength Training: This exercise uses weights, exercise bands, or body weight to help strengthen your bones and muscles whilst also improving your balance and coordination.
Functional Training (Clinical Pilates): Training your pelvic floor muscles to contract and relax as needed assists you to regain or prevent incontinence and prevent prolapse symptoms. This functional training is best done with an individualised exercise program that is designed to suit your individual needs. These exercises also enhance any strength training program and assist in flexibility or balance.
At SquareOne we use Clinical Pilates equipment to rehabilitate the function of pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominals, so that they automatically work during everyday activities. Clinical Pilates combines with a specific home exercise program will assist in achieving optimal function more quickly.
What can a Women’s Health Physiotherapist do for you menopausal symptoms?
A Women’s Health Physiotherapist can assess you individually and tailor an exercise program to address any particular issues and goals that you may have.
At Mosman Women's Health, our physiotherapists have extra training in managing older women and in particular exercise prescription for the different needs of the menopausal woman.
International guidelines all concur with the view that walking, jogging, cycling and swimming (at moderate intensity), muscle strengthening exercises (including pelvic floor exercises), water based exercise, and pregnancy-specific exercise classes are both safe and beneficial for pregnant women.
If you have never been physically active – it’s also suggested that now would be a great time to start.
We interviewed Lauren earlier this year about her experience at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast while juggling the new role of being a first time Mum.
What benefit do I get?
Here at SquareOne, our Philosophy is to not only fix your injury but send you away stronger, fitter and more resilient – in other words, less likely to injure yourself again.
Our Pilates programs help deliver our evidence based exercise programs to those who are in pain, those rehabilitating or those just wanting to move and exercise more.
When taking our clients through their programs we not only have what exercise you are going to do next front in mind we are thinking of a multitude of different things. Our knowledge of anatomy, pain science, biomechanics, load management, pathology and rehabilitation allows us to consider many different facets in developing your program.