You Can Change Your Brain’s Genetic Destiny

This blog post will give you an eye-opening reason to continue or start your F.A.S. Training sessions…

 

Being healthy is awesome and so is improving your body image but what about your brain?! You wouldn’t be able to do any of these without a healthy functioning brain.

 

Before we get into this topic read this definition…

 

Neuroplasticity: The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. (medicinenet.com)

 

It’s basically an umbrella term that defines how the brain learns new things, creates behaviors, stores memories and reacts to physiological demands and stress.

 

How does this affect you and me?

 

We are going to be discussing the voluntary physiological stress we create in order to improve physical performance. Wait until you see how training can improve your memory.

 

One study found that one 20-minute weight training session improved memory.In a year-long study, individuals who exercised were actually growing and expanding their brain’s memory center one to two percent per year, whereas typically that center would have continued to decline in size. Strength training, especially high intensity interval training (HIIT) is especially beneficial for boosting long-term memory and reducing your risk for dementia.

 

CHA CHA BANG. MIND BLOWN!

 

 

The Study

In 2006, Col­combe and col­leagues ran­domly assigned 59 older adults to either a car­dio­vas­cu­lar exer­cise group, or a non­aer­o­bic exer­cise con­trol group (stretch­ing and ton­ing exer­cise). Par­tic­i­pants exer­cised 3 hours per week for 6 months.

Col­combe et al. scanned the par­tic­i­pants’ brains before and after the train­ing period.

 

Results

After 6 months, the brain vol­ume of the aer­o­bic exer­cis­ing group increased in sev­eral areas com­pared to the other group. Vol­ume increase occurred prin­ci­pally in frontal and tem­po­ral areas of the brain involved in exec­u­tive con­trol and mem­ory processes.

 

Conclusion

The authors do not know what under­ly­ing cel­lu­lar changes might have caused these vol­ume changes. How­ever they sus­pect, based on ani­mal research, that vol­ume changes may be due to an increased num­ber of blood ves­sels and an increased num­ber of con­nec­tions between neurons.

Any given gene is not in a static “on” or “off” position. You may be a carrier of a gene that never gets expressed, simply because you never supply the required environment to turn it on.

 

Most Important Take Home Message

As neurologist David Perlmutter explains:

“We interact with our genome every moment of our lives, and we can do so very, very positively. Keeping your blood sugar low is very positive in terms of allowing the genes to express reduced inflammation, which increase the production of life-giving antioxidants. So that’s rule number one: You can change your genetic destiny. Rule number two: you can change your genetic destiny to grow new brain cells, specifically in the hippocampus… 

Your brain’s memory center regenerates. You are constantly growing new brain cells into your 50s, 60s, 80s, and 90s – throughout your lifetime – through a process called neurogenesis. That said, these two ideas come together because you can turn on your genes through lifestyle choices that enhance neurogenesis and that enhance regrowth of cells and expansion of your brain’s memory center. Researchers have demonstrated that there are factors under our control that can make that happen.”

 

Want To Learn More?

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Sciencedescribes numer­ous exam­ples of brain shifts. In one of them, a sur­geon in his 50s suf­fers a stroke and his left arm becomes par­a­lyzed. Dur­ing his reha­bil­i­ta­tion, his good arm and hand are immo­bi­lized, and he is set to clean­ing tables. The task is at first impos­si­ble. Then slowly the bad arm remem­bers how to move. He learns to write again, to play ten­nis again: the func­tions of the brain areas killed in the stroke have trans­ferred them­selves to healthy regions! The brain com­pen­sates for dam­age by reor­ga­niz­ing and form­ing new con­nec­tions between intact neu­rons. In order to recon­nect, the neu­rons need to be stim­u­lated through activity.

 

Dr. Frank Welling
Founder of F.A.S. Training Inc.
DC CSCS 50 years old is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Dr. Welling has summited Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet). He raised over $40,000 for Make a Wish Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project. He has competed in Rev3 26hour Adventure Race, Northface Challenge 50k, marathon, and half marathons. He has completed a 70.3 Ironman and numerous sprint triathlons. He trekked Mt. Elbert (14,439), Colorado in December during a blizzard. He has a Brown Belt in Russian Sambo, Blue Belt in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. He is a silver medalist in NAGA. He has more than 20 years of experience in fitness training.

 

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006 Nov;61(11):1166-70.

Aerobic exercise training increases brain volume in aging humans.

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Dr. Frank Welling
Founder of F.A.S. Training Inc.
DC CSCS 50 years old is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Dr. Welling has summited Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet). He raised over $40,000 for Make a Wish Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project. He has competed in Rev3 26hour Adventure Race, Northface Challenge 50k, marathon, and half marathons. He has completed a 70.3 Ironman and numerous sprint triathlons. He trekked Mt. Elbert (14,439), Colorado in December during a blizzard. He has a Brown Belt in Russian Sambo, Blue Belt in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. He is a silver medalist in NAGA. He has more than 20 years of experience in fitness training.

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