Our Dynamic Brains

Our brains are often overlooked when it comes to nutrition and exercise. Most consider these purely for the physical benefits and not the mental. But each time that we are overly stressed ( which is often in our society ), our brains, particularly the frontal cortex and the hippocampus, are bombarded by glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids are hormones that assist us in prioritizing during extremely stressful times. This changes the communication, or rather the connections or pathways between neurons. Instead of organizing our thoughts or memories, our brains re-connect different pathways to deal with the stressful stimuli.

Continuous bombardment of stress may cause a cognitive decline over time. Sometimes, stress may be unavoidable, but we often have the ability to control it. I’m a “Type A” personality, and I take on too many tasks at a time, but certain things have helped me to keep my brain pathways clear and healthy. Nutrition is helpful for proper brain function, but so are mental exercises such as meditation, reading, deep breathing, positive affirmations ( yes, talk to yourself! ), and organization & preparation of your thought patterns ( Being prepared is half the battle ). Other applied practices such as painting, drawing, writing, horseback riding, kayaking, paddle boarding, archery, and shooting can all be ways to engage those neural pathways and allow our brains to achieve focus and peace. Yoga, martial arts, Pilates, weight training, cardiovascular exercise, and many other physical outlets are there for us as well. Try to make the time to recover & clear your neural pathways with any one of these, at least for 30 minutes per day, and when time allows, go for the full hour. Find the focus and the peace. It’s something that you must force at times, but if you do it often enough, you will create a good habit, one that will reward you cognitively.

 

Until next month, John D.

About the author

John M. Di Fazio II
John M. Di Fazio II

John M Di Fazio II is a nutrition consultant, a personal trainer, and a massage therapist and has twenty years of experience working in the fitness industry. He was employed by Gold's Gym for thirteen years and in 2005 co-founded Remedy Fitness, a unique fitness establishment located in East Setauket, New York. While in the employ of Gold's Gym, he was recruited into Nutritionalysis, a nutrition company based in Venice Beach, California that specialized in individualized nutrition programs, and received his certification. Excelling in the field, his clientele grew by thousands. While establishing such a full clientele in nutrition and personal training, John also graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a bachelors degree in philosophy and also graduated from the New School for Holistic Health & Research on Long Island, New York with a degree and a New York State license for massage therapy.

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