Thoughtful Thursday…The exercise for better brain function…and a better butt
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday. This GreenNote Fitness newsletter mindfully gathers and distills useful information that is supportive to our journey. It is my mission to educate, inspire, and propel you into action that moves you towards your goals and life of purpose. Take control of your journey today.
What if I told you that you could have a better brain and better butt by focusing on a particular exercise? To me that sounds pretty good. A recent neurological health study has answered the question, what type of exercises enhance neurological function? Said another way, what type of exercise would enhance neural stem cells to produce new neurons and cause neurogenesis or said another way, what type of exercise is good for brain health? As it turns out, exercise, particularly exercise that uses large leg muscles, enhances neurological health in a way that’s different than HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and different from steady-state endurance training. For your brain and nervous system to grow, it is essential to actively move your legs. The research shows that using the legs, particularly in weight-bearing exercise, sends signals to the brain that are vital for the production of healthy neural cells, essential for the brain and nervous system. Cutting back on exercise makes it difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells -- some of the very building blocks that allow us to handle stress and adapt to challenges in our lives. Now we know the importance of exercising your legs, preferably with resistance, let’s take a look at an exercise and some variations of none other than the squat and a Hex bar deadlift. These exercises hit the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. When performed well, it can be very effective. I mention the Hex bar deadlift here as it can be performed safely regardless of age and utilizes your glutes and hamstrings more than the upper back muscles as would be the case in a straight-bar deadlift. Here are few variations of the squat and the Hex bar deadlift:
Barbell squat - barbell is placed on your back while you squat with legs parallel to the ground
Goblet squat - a weight i.e. Kettle bell is held in front of you, close to the chest while you squat
Hex bar deadlift - step “inside” the bar, grab the handles, and stand up
If you are just beginning your training or don’t have access to equipment, a body weight squat (a squat with using only your body weight) will work well also. Train the legs, save your brain and have a nice butt in the process. Now that’s just smart. Enjoy your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness You wouldn’t happen to know just one person that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them! Did you miss last week’s newsletter on Find out ways you have weak glutes and what to do about it…… P.S. Check out my Facebook page for inspiration. P.P.S. Discover GreenNote Fitness recommendations for books, podcasts, and more on body, mind, and spirit.