Empowered and Empowering  



The Latest Health News Headlines


Exercise Your Mind To Boost Your Brain Power

By: Raymond Lee

Brain cells communicate with one another via tiny branch like cells called dendrites. As we age, our ability to form dendrites declines, which is why our memory wanes and we have more difficulty learning new tasks. Dendrite growth peaks before adolescence. This is one of the reasons that children pick up languages, musical instruments, and other skills so readily while we adults struggle with them. If your child or grandchild has ever tried to teach you how to play a video game, you know what I am talking about. Children’s brains make connections faster. After puberty, the formation of new dendrites slows down, and at that point connections that are used frequently become permanent while those that are underutilized are lost. Through the years there is a constant brain drain, resulting in fewer and fewer new dendrites.

When I was in medical school, we were taught that the adult brain was fully formed and that it could not grow new cells. Now we know better. We have learned that the brain is extremely resilient, even in adulthood, and that it has an amazing capacity to restore itself if it is given the proper stimulation. We have learned that if we use our brain by challenging ourselves mentally, we can build new nerve connections and strengthen neuron pathways. The result is increased brain power and a more youthful functioning brain. Animals have demonstrated that intellectual challenges encourage neurons to branch out and create new connections, and there is compelling evidence that the same is true for humans.

You may be surprised that nuns are remarkable not only because they live considerably longer than the general population but they also suffer significantly less dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, even in their older years. They live healthy lives and have a strong social support structure, but beyond that, they have something which is even more important, an ethic of intellectual stimulation. They make it a point to read, play word games, do puzzles, work on their vocabularies, and continue to contribute to the convent in meaningful ways throughout their lives. Even more fascinating, brain scans show that the better educated nuns are those who teach, study, and continue to learn have significantly more cortex, the area of the brain associated with language and reasoning, and more dendrites than the nuns whose work is less mentally stimulating, such as cooking and cleaning.

The exercise analogy is inevitable. Use it or lose it. Yes, optimal nutrition is vital, but even if you eat the best of diets and have a broad-spectrum nutritional supplement program, your cardiovascular and muscular fitness will suffer without exercise. The same is true of your brain and cognitive fitness.

Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting.


Order FORTYfied Wear Online

Cotton T-Shirt

Show your pride in four decades of life experience with this Heavyweight Cotton T-Shirt. Printed “FORTYfied” graphic with tag line on front & “www.FORTYfied.com” on back.

Men's Fully Stitched Basic T-Shirt by Fruit of the Loom.

See a full selection online and display your pride in your
"Life Experience"

NutriSystem, Inc.  


The Body Shop - Buy 2 Get 1 Free  





Inactivity Speeds
Up Aging

Inaction accelerates aging. So does inactivity. To resist the forces of aging you need to do a minimum amount of exercise every week. As we get older, the number and strength of our muscle fibers decrease. Starting as young as age thirty, we lose an average of two to four pounds of muscles a decade. In addition, many of us gain weight as we age, and muscle atrophy is concealed by those extra pounds of fat. Eventually, though, we notice a loss of flexibility as our atrophying muscles tighten and lose their range of motion. You may find that you can’t get up from a chair as easily as you used to or that you can’t bend over or couch without feeling stiffness or pain. This is a sign that you need to rebuild your muscles.

Why do our muscles age? Several factors contribute to muscle meltdown. It is partly a result of the energy drain that turns formerly active people into couch potatoes practically overnight. Men and women who used to find it possible and even refreshing to run to the gym at the end of a hectic day suddenly find that they want to do is go home, eat dinner, and “veg out” by the tube. Clearly, these folks are not taking their “Energizers.”

Exercise not only strengthens muscles but simulates the repair mechanism within the muscles so that new muscle is formed. If we don’t exercise, even for a few weeks, our muscles will weaken significantly. In fact, if you stop exercising for just six weeks, you will lose about 50 percent of your muscle strength. The good news here is that if you start exercising, you can quickly recover what you have lost.

Muscle cells are particularly vulnerable to free radical attack. Free radicals injure cells and also make it difficult for muscle cells to repair themselves. As we lose our antioxidant balance, we lose the battle against free radicals, and muscle simply disappears. A high dose of particular antioxidants will restore your body’s natural antioxidant defense system. This will prevent further muscle damage and stimulate the muscle cells to repair and heal themselves. But that is just the first step.

The way to prevent and to cure muscle loss is through exercise. If we exercise consistently, we can maintain much of our youthful musculature. You may feel surprised that regardless of age, the people showed no significant difference in levels of body fat. In other words, the oldest people had the same sleek, lean bodies as the youngest people! This tells us that a decrease in muscle is not an evitable part of aging. It tells us that if we stay physically active throughout our lives, we can maximize muscle tone and minimize fat. This does not mean that you have to be an endurance athlete to maintain your muscles and enjoy the full benefits of exercise. The key is to maintain a consistent level of moderate exercise.













FORTYfied Wear
  © Copyright FORTYfied.com HOME