Exercise and the Brain

Brain_power

I just started reading the book Spark – the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain by John J. Ratey, MD. I will be posting tidbits from the book over the coming weeks. I was happy to see the following study, One Twin Exercises, the Other Doesn’t, reported in the NYTimes that corroborates what I’m reading in SPARK. In this study, 10 sets of identical twins were studied in which their fitness activities had diverged in the prior 3 years. You had one active twin and one inactive twin. I was shocked by the statement the twins diets were quite similar. I would have thought diet played a larger role.

“It turned out that these genetically identical twins looked surprisingly different beneath the skin and skull. The sedentary twins had lower endurance capacities, higher body fat percentages, and signs of insulin resistance, signaling the onset of metabolic problems. (Interestingly, the twins tended to have very similar diets, whatever their workout routines, so food choices were unlikely to have contributed to health differences.)

The twins’ brains also were unalike. The active twins had significantly more grey matter than the sedentary twins, especially in areas of the brain involved in motor control and coordination.

Presumably, all of these differences in the young men’s bodies and brains had developed during their few, brief years of divergent workouts, underscoring how rapidly and robustly exercising — or not — can affect health, said Dr. Urho Kujala, a professor of sports and exercise medicine at the University of Jyvaskyla who oversaw the study.”

While this is a very small study, it does show that it is never too late to have a huge impact on how your body functions, even your brain.

Sybil Cooper

Sybil Cooper

Coach

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Sybil Cooper is an amazing caring woman; she has been my sunshine on my cloudy day. Her enthusiasm drive and determination inspire me…The love she has for helping people live a healthy life is evident. I can reach out to Sybil about anything and she always has an answer, if she doesn’t know she will find out. I am looking forward to trusting Sybil as my Primal Health Coach and becoming a better version of myself.

Brandy, November 2020

You are an amazing coach who has even stuck by a person like me. I am moving slowly through my healing process and I know that fitness will be in my future and you will be part of that. So anyone who is even thinking about this program I would say go for it… because Sybil will be there for you and give you amazing help.

Jean