Your Body’s Health
Our human body is capable of doing so many different and complex things. We can move from place to place, sense the world we live in, create thoughts, recover from illness, and reproduce to form new life. Each of these actions is managed by a different system e.g. cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, skeletal, lymphatic, etc... A body system is a group of organs that are designed to work together to perform a particular function. However, not one of our body’s systems works in isolation and many feedback loops exist between them that synchronise to achieve common purposes. Good wellbeing relies on all of our body’s systems working in harmony. To keep us genuinely healthy, an effective physical fitness plan requires a variety of different cross training exercises to balance the needs of all parts of our body.
Your Heart’s Health
Cardiovascular disease has dramatically declined in the last 50 years. However, statistically it is still our biggest killer. We know that regular cardiovascular exercise reduces our risk of heart attack. Exercise strengthens our heart and lungs, reduces our blood pressure and improves our circulation efficiency. Efficient blood circulation is one of the most fundamental aspects of our overall health. Blood is the main transportation system of the body, feeding and cleansing all of our tissues. It delivers all the nutrients, oxygen, hormones and immune cells we need. Poor blood circulation can cause the finely tuned functions of our internal organs to begin to break down. Regular cardiovascular exercise and good nutrition are vital to supply blood for the efficient performance of all of the biological systems in our body, and this includes our brains.
Your Brain’s Health
Our brain cells, like all of our body’s cells, require energy to function. This energy is supplied in the form of glucose and oxygen in our blood. More intensive brain activity like more intensive muscle activity requires more glucose and oxygen to be delivered rapidly through our blood stream. The blood supply of the brain is dynamically regulated to give those active parts of the brain more energy whilst the inactive parts receive less energy. The alternating blood flow to different parts of our brain occurs through a process called the hemodynamic response. In particular, the part of the brain largely responsible for our memory, the hippocampus, is particularly vulnerable to any reduction in blood circulation. So regularly performing a variety of memory activities is important.
Performing mental exercises is a good way to activate various parts of our brain. Doing crosswords activates the parts of our brain required to generate language. Sudoku activates different parts of our brain, those required to do numerical calculations. But our brain is capable of so many more functions and one or two mental exercises are not enough to keep all parts of our brains healthy. Novelty and variety are crucial to brain health. The brain, like the body is a complex system of systems and requires many different training exercises to keep it healthy. Neuroscience has proven that is possible to actively engage the brain's natural learning abilities to improve our mind’s health. By staying fit and actively engaging our brains throughout our lives not only can we sharpen our mental abilities but the emerging scientific evidence suggests that a long term protective brain reserve develops as well.
Proactive Ageing will help you better understand how the brain functions and what is really required to keep it healthy – both in terms of improving mental sharpness today and for long term preventative health.
Most people now accept that proactive ageing is a good idea. We know that staying physically fit will help us remain healthy into our later years. Most people are also broadly aware of what they need to do to remain physically healthy. But for the public, mental fitness still remains a bit of a mystery, even though the associated health factors are understood by the medical and scientific community. It is also well known that the changes in our brains which result in dementia related illnesses start decades before any symptoms appear. Like neglecting the health of our body, damage builds up over time and we often only become aware of it much later when symptoms present.
So in the second half of our lives, a more comprehensive personal fitness regime is required that mutually builds the capacity of both mind and body. Proactive Ageing will help you develop a more holistic wellness plan with the goal of being able to energetically engage in life both physically and mentally for as long as possible.