When I ask people what their goals are for doing Pilates or Gyrotonic, they typically respond with, “to lengthen, to tone, to get a 6 pack, to get strong, and to be flexible”. These are all great goals to have, but what if I said your brain was getting an awesome workout too? It’s not as sexy, nor as enticing as the other goals, but it is important. Especially important for those struggling with ADHD or concerned about Parkinson’s and here’s why.
According to Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD, studies have shown that exercises that combine challenging the brain and the body have a more positive impact than aerobic exercise for those with ADHD. Aerobic exercise is good too, but mind body exercises are better. Parkinson’s comes in to play because scientists are discovering a parallel with ADHD and Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease makes it difficult for the patient to coordinate motor movements and to do complex brain tasks, and these same symptoms show up as adult-onset ADHD. Parkinson’s disease shows a dramatic decrease in dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a whole other topic but what I will say about dopamine is, if you don’t use it, you lose it. They say exercise is the best form of dopamine; another reason why Pilates and Gyrotonic are anti-aging.
So, to help those that have ADHD and to possibly stave off Parkinson’s disease, exercise with a regimen that involves challenging the brain and the body simultaneously is ideal. According to Dr. Ratey, when you overlap movement and attention, it works well for ADHD kids because they have to pay attention while learning new movements which engages and trains both systems. I say Pilates and Gyrotonic, but really any exercise regimen that involves thinking about movements is great, such as martial arts, yoga, etc. I also categorize them as anti-aging because it keeps the brain young. Not only do you look good on the outside with the lengthened and toned muscles, you look good on the inside, as well.
Now, let’s talk about chocolate. I saved the best for last. I’ve heard that chocolate is anti-aging, but not sure of the science behind it. My doctor tells me to get any chocolate that’s 70% dark chocolate and eat it responsibly. When I eat it, it makes me feel happy and full of energy, so yeah, I would say from personal experience, chocolate keeps me young!
Do Pilates/Gyrotonic and eat chocolate for a younger you!
- What Doctors Won’t Tell You About Dangerous, Painful(…And Not Always Successful) SURGERY – That I WILL! - January 24, 2017
- Why Pilates, GYROTONIC® And Chocolate Are All Anti-Aging! - September 1, 2016