Russell Maksuta: Fitness and the Brain
Staying physically fit helps more than just your muscles, heart, and lungs. Your brain is a big advocate for exercise, and that becomes more important as a body ages. As a family and working man over 50, Russell Maksuta takes care of his whole body to ensure he is mentally and physically present over the years to come.
Exercise increases circulation, bringing more oxygen to the brain; this is a crucial component in memory and cognitive function. It also stimulates the release of growth factors, chemicals that help blood vessels and brain cells continue to grow. At any age, producing more brain cells is beneficial, but those that are over 50 typically have concerns for Alzheimer’s disease which deteriorates brain tissue. Exercise will also help to reduce inflammation which can be harmful to cells over extended periods of time.
It is no secret that exercise elevates mood, improves sleep, and decreases stress and anxiety. All of these factors indirectly affect brain function. When your mind is distracted with the worries of the day, trying to do too much at once, or lagging from lack of sleep, mental performance can be fairly lackluster. Not only does this impair your ability to do work or daily tasks, it can wear down your brain and body through chemical interactions that occur under stressful situations. Simply walking, riding a bike, or swimming can help put your mind at ease and your body to sleep at the end of the day.
Exercise, sleep, nutrition, stress relief – it is all a big, beautiful web of complicated interactions that affect so many aspects of your mind and body. However, if your body is fit but your mind isn’t, or vice versa, life can seem bleak later on. Follow Russell Maksuta’s lead and take charge of your body and brain with a bit of activity every day.