Wednesday, November 14 , 2018, 4:43 pm | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 

Fun and Fit: Brain Envy — Be Thinner, Smarter and Happier

K and A offer tips to help put your brain consciously in control of your body

After attending the annual IDEA international convention for fitness pros, we found all kinds of interesting stuff to share with you. Dr. Daniel Amen, author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Body and 27 other books, gave a lecture called “The Secrets to Being Thinner, Smarter and Happier.” Want to know those secrets?

Alexandra: The brain is linked so strongly to what you eat and how much you move that its size, shape and function actually change. As your weight goes up, your brain size goes down. You do not want to become a victim of Dinosaur Syndrome — big body, little brain = extinct!

Sadly, the brains of obese people look 16 years older in scans than they are. And Dr. Amen showed a picture of a very healthy 82-year-old brain, so age does not guarantee brain deterioration.

Kymberly: However, having a birthday recently guarantees age! For my twinnie’s birthday she got some new dendrites, ganglia and neurotransmitters. Priceless!

Having read six of Dr. Amen’s books, I developed serious brain envy, so for my birthday I worked out and ate healthfully. Right after the small piece of chocolate cake. I want to do what it takes to stave off any mental decline and have the heaviest, most active brain possible into my 90s and beyond! My real birthday wish is for you all to have the same.

A: The mind controls the body, not the other way around. It’s your brain that tells you it’s OK to eat a second helping of ice cream, and it’s also your brain that tells you to push away from the table. So here are some tips to help you put your brain consciously in control:

» Get rid of as much sugar in your diet as possible. Research has shown sugar to be more addictive than cocaine. And guess where sugar is usually found? In high-fat junk food!

» Get at least seven hours of sleep every night. When you get less than seven hours, you have lower blood flow to the brain.

» Say no to liquid poison. Alcohol is not your friend. If you drink every day, your brain gets smaller. Alcohol penetrates the blood/brain barrier and literally acts like a poison within your brain.

Dr. Amen is amazed at our brains!
Dr. Amen is amazed at our brains!

» When making decisions about food and movement, ask yourself, “Does this hurt or help my brain?” When you are making these choices consciously, it’s hard to believe you’d choose to hurt yourself.

» Move more. Sit less.

» Meditate, do yoga, go for a walk —anything that calms your mind. When you are troubled, you are more likely to have a troubled brain and body.

» Avoid eating excess fat, which has exactly the same effect as eating toxins. Do you want toxins?

» Keep a food journal.

» Engage in new learning.

» Make yourself aware of which friends or relatives help you, and which ones sabotage you. Plan accordingly.

» Write down your motivation and look at it every day.

K: So, does your lifestyle enhance your brain power or detract from it? Remember, the choices you make today affect your brain today and into the future. Hey, if my brain is the ultimate controller, why does Alexandra keep saying she’s in charge?

Dear readers: This seems like a perfect moment to direct you to our e-book/quotes that help you stay motivated and on track.

— 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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