The Compound Effects of Exercise – how to supercharge your energy level, prevent disease in your brain, and build an incredibly valuable, super reserve of oxygen throughout your entire body.

written by john c ashworth

Well, yes, you guessed it.  You do it by exercising.  About the equivalent of 30 minutes of running most days of the week will do it.  So, if you’re walking, it’s an hour, and generally speaking, if you’re using the rating of perceived exertion scale, something between a 12 and 16 will do it.  Moderate exercise.  The kind of stuff we’ve been recommending all along.  Only now, we’re gaining an even greater understanding about what it can do, not just for the cells of your muscles, but of your brain too.

Mitochondria, the part of the cell that carries oxygen, is one of the fundamental adaptations your body makes to exercise.  When you train, your body lays down more mitochondria in the cells of the muscles primarily involved in the exercise, specifically so that it can carry more oxygen the next time it’s asked.  And now new research has shown in mice that these same mitochondrial adaptations also take place in the brain.  It turns out that all of the extra brain activity it takes to perform the extra work for exercise generates the same kind of response in the brain.

More mitochondria means all of the following for your body and your brain…

- improvements in cognition
- reduced risk for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
- and best of all, more energy, which can create the desire for even more exercise, and then even more positive changes inside the brain and muscles of the body

The amazing thing about your body is it’s willingness to adapt no matter your age, fitness level or condition.  No matter what or when or how you exercise, your body adapts.  This primary and basic response of laying down more mitochondria is proof of your body’s willingness to adapt, and further proof that exercise will always make you stronger than you were the day before, no matter where you start.

Even more significant, I believe is the point that not only is your body good at responding to exercise and physical activity, but that it’s adaptations are such that allow you to perform even more the next time.  So the only question left I think is this…

If at the core of you, you’re human, you are literally made for exercise.  So what is it exactly that’s holding you back?

-John



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