Sucking less sucks sometimes

JHoUncategorized1 Comment

“When we exercise, particularly if the exercise requires complex motor movement (ie squat/clean/jerk), we’re also exercising the areas of the brain involved in the full suited of cognitive functions. We’re causing the brain to fire signals along the same network of cells, which solidifies their connections. “                                         –

Spark John J. Ratey

So what does it all mean Basil? What the nerds are trying to tell us is that exercise is oh so good for your brain. Not only that but the more complexer the exercises the more beneficialer it is for brain health. So maybe the clean and jerk does have a place in the life of a 38 year old father of two with no sports brackground. And maybe just maybe a 56 year old tax attorney who can snatch more than her husband just might be smarter for reasons related to the barbell as much as her education. In the gym one of the things we are continually doing is forging new pathways. This is  true of the new skills we acquire in the gym as well as the neural pathways associated with the actual learning process.

I know it sucks to suck but there is gold there. The process by which we stop sucking is like candy for your brain. You are moving your mind in new directions forcing your brain to adapt to things that present it with a challenge. Double unders, push jerks, even box jumps, all have the power to boost our brains capacity for learning, and believe it or not, joy. Happiness is a nothing but a drug. One that most of our bodies make in sufficient abundance. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a little extra hit though. Dopamine, serotonin, and brain derived neurotrophic factor are just a couple of the super sweet things that get kicked up a notch with exercise. It also turns out the intensity is a good thing. High intensity drives those feel good things in the right direction.

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