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Move Your Body - Boost Your Brain

It is a well known fact that your body and brain are interconnected. What happens in your brain affects your body and what goes on with your physical self influences the neurochemistry of your brain. In his book "The Upward Spiral", Alex Korb makes a strong case for how essential exercise is for improving depression. (By the way, "The Upward Spiral" is the best book I have ever read on ways to deal effectively with depression).

Thinking of exercise might seem like too big of a hurdle for some folks. Try re-framing it instead as moving your body or simply being active. I am not talking about taking out a gym membership or running marathons. Start small. Any increase from what you're doing now is an accomplishment. Going on a walk is something that most people can achieve. Choose something that you can commit yourself to on a regular basis. It should be something that you enjoy so that it is sustainable.

Here are some of the benefits of physical activity that Korb lists in his book:

*Exercise is good for your heart and body, but it's also good for your brain

*Depression makes you lethargic and tired; exercise gives you more energy and vitality

*Depression can make it hard to concentrate; exercise makes you mentally sharper and better at planning and making decisions

*Exercise improves your mood, decreases stress and anxiety and boosts self esteem

*Exercise boosts serotonin (the feel-good hormone) levels in the brain. Serotonin boosts brain steroids and brain steroids boost serotonin. Therefore we can see that exercise has a positive snowball effect on the brain

So what are you waiting for? Lace up your running shoes and start reaping the multiple benefits that being active can bring to your body and your brain!

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