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Does exercise change your brain?

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Does exercise change your brain?

I have been touting healthy lifestyles, diets, and exercise as the golden key to weight loss for eons, and I think that everyone knows that some pills, gum, or flakes that you shake on your food aren't really going to solve all of your weight issues forever.  Relying on fad diets (i.e. only eating cabbage soup, drinking water and cayenne pepper) will for sure make you lose weight.  Honestly, who wants to eat cabbage soup all the time and smell like cabbage??  That diet would be over before it started with me...gross! But, you are clearly allowing yourself to be nutritionally deprived, and while it might work for a while, no matter how strong your willpower is, you are going to want real life food again, and depriving yourself of everything will make your cravings that much stronger.  So you may drop the pounds that you want to, but they will pop back on as soon as you start eating normally again.

What does this mean?
An interesting study performed by Harvard is going to be published next week, and looks at the true effects of diet and exercise on the body and how they affect weight loss.  What they found was that dieting (i.e. decreasing your calorie intake) will help you lose weight, as is to be expected, but you most likely will still feel hungry and have cravings. So, despite trying tone really good at eating a lower number of calories, your brain/body will tell you that you still feel hungry and are not satiated.  Bummer.  The good news?  Exercise can change all that!! It is known as inhibitory  control (the ability to prevent overeating and having "self control" with various urges).  When you get even a moderate amount of exercise daily (walking, lunges, weight lifting, running, dancing, etc.) the way that your brain sends out signals is actually altered!  It sends signals that you have reached satiety (feel full) before you normally would (without exercise).  Without exercise, your inhibitory control is low, usually weakened by high amounts of stress and inadequate movements by the body (very stationary), so and overstimulated brain leaves you weakened against temptations to eat foods you shouldn't or to overeat.  When you exercise your body, it actually acts as a stress relief, thus your brain functions better, and allows it to work more efficiently i.e. to send signals that you are fuller faster, that you should eat healthier food, and stick to the calories you allot yourself.  Basically, by exercising, you are giving yourself more willpower.

Thats kind of cool right?  I have always felt that when you workout and do something healthy for your body, it helps you make healthier choices....just because it feels like the right thing to do, but your brain is actually making that decision for you, because you did something good and de-stressed it.  Your bodies crave some form of exercise, and you will be better off for engaging.  So pick up a form of exercise: dodgeball, ping pong, walking, yoga, whatever tickles your fancy and gets your rear in gear will help you to make healthy choices and maintain a healthy lifestyle!!

Yours in Good Health
B

1 Comments:

At December 13, 2011 at 8:10 AM , Anonymous beauty said...

Really I appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge. The topic here I found was really effective to the topic which I was researching for a long time.

 

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