Exercise and sleep critical to brain health

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097977770403mzzzzzzzMy Chicago-based friend (and high-powered consultant to captains of industry) Jim McGee recently reviewed the book Brain Rules by John Medina. It’s worth reading Jim’s review here. You wouldn’t normally see a post like this on a motorcycle blog, but one of my main interests is the fitness and health of the aging athlete (and athlete wannabes). Brain health – the ability to focus and concentrate, absorb new information, retain what we’ve learned, etc. – is critical to staying active and healthy over the long term. Too much of what we’ve accepted as natural consequences of aging are little more than a misunderstanding of how the brain works.

Medina is a molecular biologist and delves into how the biology of the brain affects our ability to function, and how many of the things we believe to be true about brain function really aren’t. Jim highlights 12 rules Medina uses to organize the story in his book:

  1. Exercise boosts brain power
  2. The human brain evolved, too
  3. Every brain is wired differently
  4. We don’t pay attention to boring things
  5. Repeat to remember
  6. Remember to repeat
  7. Sleep well, think well
  8. Stressed brains don’t learn the same way
  9. Stimulate more of the senses
  10. Vision trumps all other senses
  11. Male and female brains are different
  12. We are powerful and natural explorers

Based on Jim’s review I’m going to order this book on my next purchase from Amazon. If you, like me, are interested in maintaining a level of health that will keep you on the bike and on the track for years to come it pays to understand the lessons modern science and research can teach us about our bodies. Caring for the brain, and doing the right things to support it, are an important step in achieving that goal.

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