What controls everything in your body? What is it, that tells your heart to beat, your lungs to breath and allows you to comprehend these words on a page? What allows you to feel, think, examine, and formulate an opinion? What is it, that makes you exactly who you are? It wasn’t an experience, a good or bad childhood, not even the last book you read or Peake Wellness post. Your brain controls absolutely every process in your entire body, how does the brain do this? Its responsible for EVERYTHING, and yet how does it know when to secrete insulin after a meal? How does it know to give you a headache due to lack of water? How does it know to make you cry at a funeral?
The primary source of the brain’s information comes directly from what it controls, THE BODY! How the muscles are contracting, how the food is digesting, how you are feeling emotionally all comes from how you think, move and feel. Fascinating isn’t it! The brain then knows exactly what to do in response to all the stimuli it receives. Most of the time we have NO IDEA as to what this response is, but sometimes we get that ‘gut feeling,’ or we throw up the bad food we just ate. All this, thanks to our handy brain.
The thing that stimulates the brain mechanically is movement! Other than cardiovascular health and weight loss, exercise is also good for your overall health and well-being, and most importantly, the health of your noggin. Every time you sit down, your brain tells your body not only how to get your bum onto that seat so you don’t crash to the floor but also tells the rest of your body that you’re sitting. When you cough, sneeze, laugh, or meditate your brain is making conscious efforts to keep you as much in line as possible. When you worked too hard in the garden over the weekend and your muscles are sore, that’s your brain’s way of keeping you upright, or if they’re in a spastic mess that’s also your brain telling you to slow down because you’re not 17 anymore. Exercises that utilize the entire body are best for brain (primarily cerebellar) health.
Yoga, Pilates and most of all, rock climbing that promote what’s called cross crawl movements are the best thing you can do to encourage better brain function. If that’s beyond you now, do exactly what our ancestors did, walk. Just the act of bringing one foot in front of the other feeds your frontal lobes and getting those arms swinging too, fires to other areas of the brain as well. Not to mention all the endorphins and bodily benefits as well.
Dr. Alexia Peake Inhulsen D.C.