Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 4:34 pm | Fair 59º

 
 
 
 

Fun and Fit: Train Your Brain for a Smarter, Healthier You

Workout, lifestyle and eating choices can all boost mind power

The latest in brain research makes it abundantly clear: If you want a sound mind and body, your brain must be in balance.

Now some people might claim that half of Fun and Fit (the missing half this week, aka Alexandra) are wacky and off-balance. And they might be right — but that’s another post that looks at the role wit and laughter play in longevity.

This blog is mine, all mine (insert maniacal laughter here) as A-twin is off on vacation. She’s probably upping her serotonin and dopamine levels, which is a brain-balancing good thing! So you all get to hear about my fave topic these days (OK, my “obsession”): How can we achieve the healthiest brain possible?

» 1) First off, the more active your body, the more balanced your brain. Move, move, move if you want to be smarter! Lean, active people lessen their odds of having dementia by half; obese, inactive people increase their odds of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) by double! Who is least likely to develop Alzheimer’s? People who move, laugh and eat brain smart foods. (Look for upcoming posts that reveal the most brain-boosting foods and activities.)

» 2) Be aware that more than any other organism in the body, the brain is affected by your workout, lifestyle and eating choices. The type of exercise that most stimulates your brain? Cardio! Even a simple, low-key walk or dance class “youthens” your brain. Hmmm, makes me wonder why we have the word “ages” but I had to make up the word “youthens.”

» 3) Exercise literally changes your brain, all for the better. You can “train” your blood vessels, including the ones feeding your brain, to get more fit with exercise. Activity directly influences learning at the cellular level. In addition to priming our mind, exercise improves the brain’s ability to log in and process new information. In short, exercisers are better learners. Contrast for a moment to working out primarily to get in shape, lose weight, lower fat and all those other key motivators. Doesn’t the thought of getting smarter with age motivate you even more?

That’s enough sitting and reading for now, eh? Time to get a move on. She’s a brainiac, brainiac, on the floor, and she’s dancing like she’s never danced before!

For the record, the rumors of twins being half-wits are not true! I got all the brains! Alexandra got the

looks, personality, inheritance

sympathy cards.

Readers: What would you do to get smarter with age and be the most intelligent 100-year-old around?

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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