Learn new exercises for a sharper mind

Fit tip #11 - Getting Healthy at the beach in Panama with SunWave Fitness. January is here and so are the new years resolutions! If you have finally decided to get moving after being inactive for a long time, or you want to learn some new dance steps, new sport, or new exercises, don't worry that you might be too old! According to the Weill Cornell Medical College Food and Fitness Advisor, age should not be a barrier when it comes to learning new physical activities or improving function during and after rehabilitation. When learning new physical activities, practice is the key! Whether you're learning golf, yoga, how to use exercise tubes, or any other skill, 'the brain and nervous system work together with the muscles, joints, and other parts of the body' forming a feedback network with messages moving in various directions simultaneously down the spinal cord, and back up the spinal cord to the brain.

For example if you're learning a new resistance exercise, and you move your leg a certain way, the messages go through muscles and joints via nerves to your brain. The brain receives these messages, and if the action is not quite right, it makes an adjustment and sends the information back down so you can try to fine-tune the movement. This 'feedback' to the brain keeps being repeated as often as you do the exercise continuing the fine-tuning over time and the movement becomes smoother. Before you know it the new exercise becomes more like a reflex and you wonder why you ever thought it was difficult. It's imperative to use good form right from the start so you will be reinforcing safe technique during your practicing.

You have probably already figured this out by now that because of the brain/body connections there is evidence the brain reaps benefits from regular exercise too. Studies have shown that aerobic and resistance training can slow the progression of Parkinson's disease and improve memory. Substances called neurotrophic factors that nurture brain cells are produced from regular activity. It's one more important reason to keep those new years resolutions to learn new physical activity skills and maintain those you have through repetition and practice regardless of your age!


See you in class!