Preventing Cognitive Decline
There have been several articles in the news lately about protecting cognitive decline
through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Several of these focused on Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which is a protein that is involved in neuroplasticity and memory function. This particular study was comparing HIIT to intermittent fasting—which did not show improvements in BDNF—but did show that as little as six minutes of HIIT has pronounced effects of producing cognitive protective mechanisms. The resistance training component of HIIT,
specifically in regards to the strength of the quadriceps, is also where the most pronounced effects in mitochondrial production occur as well, which has a direct impact on longevity and immune system function. I've started doing more squats.
Interestingly, the so-called Super Brain Yoga makes use of squats, and is also the same gesture that devotees of Ganesha make when first having darshan in a temple, called Thoopukaranam. The difference between Thoopukaranam and simply doing squats is the crossing of the arms to hold opposite ears with your hands. This is a cross mid-line movement of the body, which encourages information flows in the brain between the right and left hemisphere and bilateral coordination. It's an important part of early childhood development. Read more here.
Up until recently, fascia has largely been described as the body's connective tissue, literally holding every muscle, bone, and organ in place and connected to each other. Recent discoveries, however, have shown it to be much more. Among other things, fascia is the body's richest and most sensitive sensory organ, relaying messages of pain and pleasure to the brain. It has ten times as many sensory receptors as muscles. A recent article in
Cureus, sent to me by Robert Moses, goes in depth into fascia as a communicative system, and highlights the liquidy nature of how fascia communicates with other structures of the body. In particular, this article focuses on the diaphragm as fascial tissue. It's a little complicated, but worth looking at for those interested, here.
That's all for now, thanks very much, and hope to see you in class!