I'll confess that I'm not always diligent about making sure I get my eight hours of sleep every night, even though I know I feel better and do better work when I get that sleep. And while I always have good intentions about getting my exercise in, I often decide to do something else instead.
But I'm reading the excellent Brain Rules by John Medina, and it's given me another push to make sure I do indeed get the sleep, and do indeed exercise. Here's just one quote about exercise:
If all you do it walk several time a week, your brain will benefit. ... In the laboratory, the gold standard appears to be aerobic exercise, 30 minutes at a clip, two or three times a week. Add a strengthening regimen and you get even more cognitive benefit.But here's the quote that really caught my attention:
Your lifetime risk for general dementia is literally cut in half if you participate in leisure-time physical activity. Aerobic exercise seems to be the key. With Alzheimer's, the effect is even greater: Such exercise lowers your odds of getting the disease by more than 60 percent.And here's the word on sleep:
How much exercise? Once again, a little goes a long way. The researchers showed you have to participate in some form of exercise just twice a week to get the benefit. Bump it up to a 20-minute walk each day, and you can cut your risk of having a stroke - one of the leading causes of mental disability in the elderly - by 57 percent.
The bottom line is that sleep loss means mind loss. Sleep loss cripples thinking, in just about every way you can measure thinking.Anyone else feeling inspired to make some changes?