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  • Rhonda Finlayson

Train For The Brain

I have been an athlete my entire life, but it wasn't until my early twenties that I truly fell in love with Fitness. At that time I had just finished up my college athletics career and I was quite a bit heavier than my frame was built to carry comfortably. I began running and crash dieting as a means to lose some weight and (if I am going to be honest), fit into a smaller wedding dress size! With limited resources available to me, and the internet only really in its infancy... I ravaged every health and fitness magazine I could get my hands on. After an online nutrition course and lots of self experimentation, I figured out that Biochemistry was at play and that if I wanted to change my body, I was going to need to start to look at it as an integrated system. I needed to eat and train in a way that my brain would be sending the proper signals to my body and vice versa. Giving up sugar and adopting a low carb/slow carb style of eating was where I began, and 20 years later I believe that the sky is the limit on what we can achieve through how we train and what we put into our bodies. Now that I am in my forties, I find myself much more concerned with the health of my brain than the way that a dress fits. Instinctively we know that we feel better after exercise right? "But why", you ask? Well, one reason is that the brain produces a protein called BDNF (Brain derived neurotrophic factor), which is basically a growth hormone for the brain. The better our brains function, the better our bodies will too. The funny part is when I started focusing on the biochemistry of my brain, I didn't have to worry about maintaining proper weight. When I shifted my focus from a calories in/calories out model, to a model that focused on training and eating correctly for optimal systemic function, my weight began to stabilize and I didn't need to worry about it. I would be lying to you if I said that its always easy to do... "Believe me, sometimes its not!", but for the most part, You just need to pay a little more attention. Want more of that BDNF??? Focus more on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). I used to spend hours a day on cardio equipment and what I learned is that, "Holy Cow... That is not an efficient way to get the most from the system in the shortest amount of time!". If you want to train for endurance events or just really love long runs... Have at it! If you just want your brain and body to feel better, You should try to resistance train 2-3 times a week, and if you can... Keep that Heart Rate Up! The rest of your days need to include at least a half an hour of movement. I love to walk and I love to be outside, so thats my Jam! What's yours? Let's figure that out. biking, dancing, rollerblading... The possibilities are endless!

Life is waiting... TODAY IS YOUR DAY!





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