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Move your body, Improve your brain

By Susan Ksiezopolski

With longer days and more welcoming weather coming our way, beckons us to get out and about and to move more. Movement is an important component related to our overall health. When we move our bodies, through even mild or moderate exercise endorphins, our feel-good hormones, are released and this reduces our levels of stress and increases our sense of wellbeing.

Movement not only has positive physical benefits for our joints, bones, circulation but also helps our mental health. Studies show that beneficial neurotransmitters are released when we move our body which decrease the feelings of anxiety and depression. Regular movement makes our amygdala’s “flight or fight” response less reactive. The increase in serotonin levels improves our mood, energy and helps us to sleep better. Harvard Medical School study reported that movement changes our brain as it helps to increase our brain volume and, white and gray matter. In addition it increases brain protein BDNF (Brain derived neurotrophic factor), which is important for neuron survival and growth, and plasticity that helps with memory and learning. Research shows that when students take a 10-minute movement break, it positively impacts their ability to concentrate and retain more information.

When we move, we are integrating our mind and body. Movement stimulates the brain’s neuroplasticity, which optimizes, reenforces and builds pathways that support the brains’ synapses. Incorporating regular consistent movement into our routines, has been shown to prevent and delay cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. The changes that result in the brains circuitry work to amend the structure and function of the brain and thereby allow learning and memory to work more efficiently and effectively.

At Joshua Creek we offer a number of classes geared to help you move more. Come move with us and be inspired by our amazing facilitators:

Combines Hatha Yoga, mindfulness meditation and beautiful music to settle into calm, clear mind.

Involves simple, slow, relaxed, gentle movements with mindful breathing to help relieve all forms of stress – physical, mental, emotional

This seven-week series incorporates the Feldenkrais Method® that use gentle movement to increase ease and range of motion, improve flexibility and coordination, and rediscover the capacity for graceful, efficient movement.

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